James Charles asks, “What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier than others?” Then answers, “I believe the difference in nineteen cases out of twenty, arises from different habits about private prayer. I believe those who are not eminently holy pray little and those who are eminently holy pray much.” It’s not a contest of who is holier than the rest, but it sure is a point to be pondered.
Doug Small in Five Basic Prayer Principles writes, “Over 90% of American’s say that they pray, at least on some occasions. But less than 50% in any region of the US, including the deeply religious south and the conservative mid-west, pray about the moral choices they make in life.” He is so right: “We have developed a kind of wall of separation between the help we ask of God, and the foul lines of morality.” “Prayer,” he continues, ” should be purifying experience. Talking to and fellowshipping with a Holy God should change us.” The question is: is it changing you? Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying, “God visits every house where night and morning prayers are made, but where these are neglected, sin is incurred.”
We’ve got to get beyond seeing prayer as a “transaction” and see it as a “transformation.” Prayer is more than “doing business” with God. “An encounter with the sovereign God of Scripture will not and cannot leave you and me the same.” So, do you want to be holy? Pray! Because “prayer will promote our personal holiness as nothing else, except the study of the Word of God.” One more thing. E.M. Bounds wrote, “A holy life does not live in the closet, but it cannot live without the closet.” Well, maybe one more from The Kneeling Christian: “Believing prayer from a wholly-cleansed heart never fails.”
A heads up: Doug Small will be with us at a combined Improve Your Serve and Prayer Summit on February 1st. Plan now to attend here at LPCCC.
David F. Nixon, D.Min
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