THE ARMOR OF GOD TO BATTLE SATAN #7
Paul finishes his discourse on the full armor of God to
battle Satan the Devil with:
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for
all saints: And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that
I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the
Gospel ... that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak"
Prayer! Yes prayer is a weapon to use against the enemy
Satan and his darts of death.
You pray always by being in the ever attitude of walking
with the Lord, of being mindful you are His, that He is, has
been, and forever will be. No matter where you are, in a crowd,
in the supermarket, driving your car, at work, at play ...
wherever ... you are "with the Lord" in ever contact with God and
His Son Christ Jesus.
Sometimes you may say, "Now, how would Jesus do this; how
would He act; how would Jesus speak" in some situations. Other
times, you may have to say, "Forgive me Lord, renew a right
spirit in me, I'm thinking the wrong things." "Lord, please help
me to get a right attitude in this situation." Or it may be,
"Thank you Father for your kind mercy, the situation could have
been terrible because of my mistake."
Praying always is being in constant contact with our
heavenly Father, being aware nothing is hid from Him, we are an
open book before Him. And because we are still in the flesh, we
are sinners, and truly knowing that, we know we are saved by His
grace, not by any works we have done, are doing, or will yet do.
Praying always is being thankful that our Father deals with us in
patience; He corrects us not as we deserve, but with kindness and
love. Praying always is always being in a repentant attitude,
willing to be corrected, willing to grow in grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
Praying always is never getting hardened to sin and the evil
around us. It is always sighing and crying for the wickedness in
the world. Praying always is desiring, praying for "Thy Kingdom
come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Praying always is serving and helping others, yes, those
literal things to do for people, that is good and right, is a way
of praying always, for it is the way of ever being mindful you
are a child of God, and so being, His children would do this or
do that in loving their fellow man.
Praying always is loving your neighbor as yourself. It is
not wrong to look after yourself, to obey the laws of health, to
eat right, to exercise, to get the proper amount of sleep. It is
not wrong to keep your mind on good wholesome things. It is not
wrong to have some pleasure time for yourself. All things in
moderation as the Bible teaches. So if looking after yourself
physically, emotionally, and spiritually, is not wrong, and is a
form of praying always, then that shows you how to love your
neighbor as yourself. You will want your neighbor to do well,
have a good and healthy and happy life. Yes, even if your
neighbor is not a Christian, even if they do not think about or
believe in a God in heaven above. You should still want the best
for your neighbor just as you would like it for yourself. When
you understand that everyone is spiritually blinded UNTIL God
removes that blindness, then you will have love and patience for
your spiritually blinded neighbor.
Praying always is even loving your enemy, doing good to them
when they do you evil. It is praying for your enemy. It is as
Jesus did and said: "Forgive them Father, for they know not what
Praying always is watching out for all the saints of God.
Certainly when you have saints around you, in your town, city,
village, or over in the next valley, you can get a personal
relationship with them. You can get to know them in their daily
lives, what their trials and problems are that they have to face.
You can get to know their children if they have any. Watching out
for the saints can get very personal, and I do not mean, sticking
your nose in when you need to keep it out. watching for the
saints is to know when, where, and how, and why, you need to be
involved with them, in any particular circumstance. All of that
kind of living with your fellow saint takes knowledge and wisdom;
you should be able to find many studies on this Website to help
you develop that knowledge and wisdom.
Praying always and watching for your Christian brother
and/or sister, often ones you do not know, all you know is they
are out there as the salt of the earth. And you know there will
be times of trails, troubles, even literal persecutions for some,
in some countries of this earth. You get to know by reading, by
the news, by documentaries on TV, by the Internet, that some of
your brothers and sisters in Christ NEED your prayer for them.
You can get very specific in your prayers for your brethren,
from the above news that come your way, you can find out some of
their very personal needs, be it physical safety, clean water,
employment, deliverance from persecution, enough food for
themselves and their family.
There are so many ways to be watching for all saints. And in
your situation perhaps you only have prayer to give them. But
NEVER THINK that "just prayer" is nothing of worthless. Far from
it, for through prayer miracles have happened. The stories put in
the form of books that could be written about miracles that came
ONLY through prayer, I'm sure could fill your house.
This last piece of armor gets forgotten many times. The
POWER of prayer can be a mighty strong defensive and attacking
piece of armor. It can work as a defence and it can work as a
great weapon to slay the adversary.
Praying always with SUPPLICATION! That is with "petition" or
with requests, entreat, plea, beseechment, imploring, appeal,
request of, urge. Christians are not only to pray for each other
but to pray with an attitude of urgency in their beseechment with
the Father. Sometimes we known the specific requests to make on
behalf of others, then many times we do not know the specifics,
but we do known that the children of God somewhere, are going
through trials, tests, and troubles, maybe persecutions, maybe
rejections by family members, maybe the loss of a job, maybe
sickness. We can pray with earnest beseeching that the Father
will give the power of His Spirit to His children in whatever
needs they may have at this time in their lives.
And it is the Holy Spirit that will give Christians
everywhere the strength and the will of mind to endure whatever
they must endure, to the end.
We need to pray that true Christians will fight the good
fight, battle the wiles of the Devil, for as Peter said, he goes
about like a roaring lion trying to devour whoever he can. How
many of you have known many over the last 20 years or more that
have thrown in the towel, put up the white flag of surrender,
given up the battle? How many of you have known people that were
once enlightened with the truths of God, but through tests of
faith (i.e. ministers being unfaithful, or "organizations"
becoming corrupt, or leaders and organizations going back into
Roman Catholic and Protestant teachings) have now gone back into
the world, and just gave up on the Father and Christ and the
Sadly, I have known of dozens of such people over the last
40 years, who have become as Peter said, like a dog returning to
its vomit. I have known men who were ministers, leaders, deacons,
men looked up to in their congregations, who not only turned
their back on truths of God, but who walked right back into the
world from which they came. I have known people who now do not
give one thought about God and Christ, and have stopped reading
All of this Paul must have had running through his mind,
when he penned the words of verse 18. He saw it happen to ones he
"This charge I commit unto you, son Timothy, according to the
prophecies which went before on you, that you by them mighty war
a good warfare. HOLDING faith, and a good conscience, which SOME
HAVING PUT AWAY concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is
Hymenaeus and Alexander ...." (1 Timothy 1:18-20).
Going to the thought of Peter about the dog returning to its
vomit, I think it needful I quote his context:
"Which [people] have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray
... These are well without water, clouds they are carried with a
tempest ... For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the
world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is
worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for
them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they
have known it, to TURN FROM the Holy commandment delivered unto
them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb,
The god is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was
washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2 Peter 15-22).
Being a child of the Father is not always for a short
duration of our physical life, some are called as children, or
teens, or young adults. Most of us will have to face trials and
tests and troubles that can come along in this life time. Many of
us will have to battle through the times when "minister" fail,
when "organizations" corrupt themselves, when "organizations"
fall away and depart from the truths of God and go back into the
Babylon of religion that is all around us.
It is important we pray always for our brothers and sisters
in Christ, that they will remain true to the calling they have
Yes I know it is also true that the wheat must be separated
from the chaff, that the blowing winds of the problems of this
life must come, so the chaff and the wheat can be separated. The
sheep and the goats must be separated. This is all true and God
has His ways of doing just that. But that does not mean we must
not pray always with supplication for the saints. We must pray
that the true saints will fight the good fight, remain faithful,
endure to the end.
I like the words of Albert Barnes in his Bible Commentary:
"Praying Always: It would be well for the soldier who goes forth
to battle to pray - to pray for victory; or to pray that he may
be prepared for death, should he fall. But soldiers do not often
feel the necessity of this. To the Christian soldier, however, it
is indispensable. Prayer crowns all lawful efforts with success,
and gives a victory when nothing else would. No matter how
complete the armor; no matter how skilled we may be in the
science of war; no matter how courageous we may be; - we may be
certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can
give the victory; and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed
completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by
prayer, he may be sure of a triumph. This prayer is not to be
intermitted; it is to be ALWAYS! In every temptation and
spiritual conflict we are to pray.
WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION: With all kinds of prayer;
prayer in the closet, the family, the social meeting, the great
assembly; prayer at the usual hours; prayer when we are specially
tempted, and when we feel just like praying; prayer in the form
of supplication for ourselves, and in the form of intercession
for others. This is, after all, the great weapon of our spiritual
armor, and by this we may hope to prevail."
LIFE LESSONS IN PRAYER
While standing dazed, evaluating the mess and wondering about the
future, he heard a stirring in the lumber pile that was the
remains of the henhouse. A rooster was climbing up through the
debris, and he didn't stop climbing until he had mounted the
highest board in the pile. That old rooster was dripping wet, and
most of his feathers were blown away. But as the sun came over
the eastern horizon, he flapped his bony wings and proudly
That old, wet, bare rooster could still crow when he saw the
morning sun. And like that rooster, our world may be falling
apart, we may have lost everything, but if we trust in God, we'll
be able to see the light of God's goodness, pick ourselves out of
the rubble, and sing the Lord's praise.
In "Contemporary Christian Music," John Fischer writes:
I have a bad habit. When my children tell me about something
they've learned for the first time, I often act as if I knew
that. Even worse, sometimes I tell them how the same thing
happened to me years ago.
When my wife hears something "new" from the kids, her mouth drops
open and her eyes widen. It's as if she has never heard this kind
of thing before. The kids' faces brighten, and they feel as if
they have actually enlightened their mother.
I used to think my wife was just acting and sooner or later the
kids would find out and feel lied to. Then I realized it isn't an
act at all. Though she may already have experienced what they are
trying to tell her, she's never experienced it through them.
Their personal "revelations" are entirely new.
It's the same with God. As all-knowing and sovereign as he is,
I'm sure he's still eager to hear our prayers because he has
never heard it quite the way we say it. We are all unique. We
own signature attached to all we do and say. Our lives, our
experiences, and our faith expressed to him are never old.
Bill Gates, who is chief executive at Microsoft (he was when this
was written) is hooked up to the international computer network
called Internet. Subscribers to the Internet can send through
their computers electronic mail (called e-mail) to other users of
the Internet. Bill Gates had an Internet address just like
everyone. But then the New Yorker magazine published his Internet
address. Anyone could send the computer genius a letter. In no
time Bill Gates was swamped with five thousand messages. It was
more than any human could handle. So Gates armed his computer
with software that filters through his e-mail, allowing important
messages through and sending other letters to electronic
People are limited. They can handle only so much communication
and offer only so much help.
God, on the other hand, never tires of s-mail (spirit mail). His
ear is always open to our prayers. And he has unlimited capacity
When our children were small, we played a game. I'd take some
coins in my fist. They'd sit on my lap and work to get my fingers
open. According to the international rules of finger opening,
once the finger was open, it couldn't be closed again. They would
work at it, until they got the pennies in my hand. They would
jump down and run away, filled with glee and delight. Just kids.
Just a game.
Sometimes when we come to God, his hand.
"Lord, I need a passing grade. Help me to study." "Lord, I need a
job." "Lord, my mother is ill."
We reach for the pennies. When God grants the request, we push
the hand away.
More important than the pennies in God's hand is the hand of God
himself. That's what prayer is about.
They tell us the 911 emergency system is the state of the art.
All you need do is dial those numbers, and you will almost
instantly be connected to a dispatcher. In front of the
dispatcher will be a read-out that lists your telephone number,
your address, and the name by which that telephone number is
listed at that address. Also listening in are the police, the
fire department, and the paramedics.
A caller might not be able to say what the problem is. Or perhaps
a woman's husband has just suffered a heart attack, and she is so
out of control that all she can do is hysterically scream into
the telephone. But the dispatcher doesn't need her to say
anything. He knows where the call is coming from. Help is already
on the way.
There come times in our lives when in our desperation and pain we
dial 911 prayers. Sometimes we're hysterical. Sometimes we don't
know the words to speak. But God hears. He knows our name and our
circumstance. Help is on the way; God has already begun to bring
In 1996 the Chicago Bulls basketball team won their fourth world
championship behind their leader Michael Jordan. Jordan's
contract ended after the season, however, and fans in Chicago
were uneasy about whether the Bulls could re-sign Jordan for the
upcoming year. Would owner Jerry Reinsdorf be willing to pay the
huge salary that everyone knew Jordan would request for a new
On July 12, 1996, the Chicago media discovered the answer. The
Bulls announced they had agreed to pay some $30 million. Bob
Verdi reported later in the Chicago Tribune that months prior to
the negotiations, when snow was on the ground, Reinsdorf had
joked with Jordan and his agent that when the season ended, if
the negotiations took more than five minutes, they would be
wasting their time. At a dinner with Jordan less than two weeks
before negotiations began, Reinsdorf repeated his intention to
wrap things up quickly. And when the time came to talk numbers,
Reinsdorf paid Jordan's asking price without a qualm.
"I could have tried to talk Michael down from what he asked,"
said Reinsdorf. "But why? ... Michael is unique. I can afford
what he's getting, he deserves what he's getting, and if it's not
the best business transaction I ever made, so what? This wasn't a
business deal in the truest sense, anyway. Call them psychic
dollars. When we couldn't give Michael what he deserved because
of the salary cap, I told him there would be a day. Well, the day
Like Michael Jordan asking for a big salary, we often come to God
with large requests, and we wonder how he will feel about it.
Jesus taught us that God's response to our prayers is guided in
large measure by how he feels about us. God's sons and daughters
are more special to him than Michael Jordan is to the owner of
the Chicago Bulls. For God, prayer isn't some spiritual
negotiation; prayer is love. God is giving "heart dollars."
In "Total Eclipse" Annie Dillard writes:
The Ring Nebula, in the constellation Lyra, looks, through
binoculars, like a smoke ring. It is a star in the process of
exploding. Light from its explosion first reached the earth in
1054; it was a supernova then, and so bright it shone in the
daytime. Now it is not so bright, but it is still exploding. It
expands at the rate of seventy million miles a day. It is
interesting to look through binoculars at something expanding
seventy million miles a day. It does not budge. Its apparent size
does not increase. Photographs of the Ring Nebula taken fifteen
years ago seem identical to photographs of it taken yesterday.
Huge happenings are not always visible to the naked
eye-especially in the spiritual realm. How often it is that this
nebula resembles the process of prayer. Sometimes we pray and
pray and seemingly see no change in the situation. But that's
only true from our perspective. If we could see from heavens
standpoint, we would know all that God is doing and intending to
do in our lives. We would see God working in hearts in ways we
cannot know. We would see God orchestrating circumstances that we
know nothing about. We would see a galaxy of details being set in
place for the moment when God brings the answer to fulfilment.
In May 1996, Valujet Flight 592 crashed into the Florida
Everglades, killing 110 passengers. To determine the cause of the
crash, the National Transportation Safety Board needed the
plane's black box. That would not be easy to find. The crash had
scattered plane debris across a large area of swamp. Dozens of
searchers descended on the scene to sift through muck and water
as much as eight feet deep in an attempt to find the black box.
Navy experts tried using special technology that detected
submerged metal, without success.
Holding a rope that kept them spaced three feet apart, other
searchers systematically poked through every square foot of the
crash area. After fourteen days, they had found nothing.
For workers the physical conditions were nigh unbearable. The
Florida sun beat upon them, and temperatures hovered in the 90s.
Diesel fuel and caustic hydraulic fluid from the wrecked plane
floated in the water, forcing searchers to wear several layers of
protective rubber and latex despite the heat and humidity.
Fourteen days of that had left many searchers dehydrated, but
they had to find the black box.
Sergeant Felix Jimenez, of the Metro-Dade police, was one of the
searchers. For fourteen days he had prayed for the bereaved
families and for the safety of his fellow workers, but on the
fifteenth day as he took a break, suddenly he realized he had
failed to pray for one important thing: that God would help them
find the black box. So he asked God for direction, resumed the
search, and when he stuck his pole into the water, he hit
something metallic. He pulled the object out of the muck. It was
the black box. Jimenez writes in Guideposts, "At the end of the
day ... I thought of the many days we had spent searching for the
recorder, how we must have tromped over it many times, and I
wondered why its retrieval had taken so long. Amid the low rustle
of saw grass and the call of a great white heron, I seemed to
hear the response: 'Why did it take you so long to ask?'"
James David Ford, chaplain of the United States House of
Representatives since 1979, told the following story about prayer
to "Leadership" journal:
In the spring of 19761 sailed the Atlantic Ocean with a couple of
friends. In a thirty-one-foot vessel, we sailed from Plymouth,
England, to New York - 5,992 miles. During the trip, we hit a
real hurricane - some of the waves were thirty-five feet high -
and frankly, I was scared. My father had said, "Don't go. You
have five children. Wait till they're grown."
The hurricane went into its third day, and I thought of my
father's words about the children. I thought, Why am I out here?
Was this thing that I thought was courage and adventure really
The skies were black, and clouds were scudding by. I wanted to
pray for God to stop the storm, but I felt guilty 'cause I'd
voluntarily gotten into this. I didn't have to go across the
Finally I came up with a marvellous prayer, seven words: "O God,
I have had enough. Amen."
Within half an hour of that simple prayer, the sky in the west
lifted like a screen in a theater, and there was blue sky.
Was my prayer tied to the opening of the sky? I don't worry about
One thing is certain: simple, sincere prayers are sufficient.
FROM THE BOOK "750 ENGAGING ILLUSTRATIONS" by Craig Larson and
YOU CAN DO MORE THAN PRAY after you have prayed, but you cannot
do more than pray until you have prayed - John Bunyan
THANK YOU FOR SAYING NO
Lord, day after day I've thanked you
for saying yes.
For saying no?
Yet I shudder to think
Of the possible smears
The cumulative blots on my life
Had You not been sufficiently wise
To say an unalterable no.
So thank You for saying no
When my want list for things
Far exceeded my longing for You.
When I asked for a stone
Foolishly certain I asked for bread
Thank You for saying no
To my petulant "Just this time, Lord?"
Thank You for saying no
To senseless excuses
Thank You for saying no
When the temptation that enticed me
Would have bound me beyond escape.
Thank You for saying no
When I asked You to leave me alone.
Thank You for saying no
When in anguish I asked
"If I give You all else
May I keep this?"
Lord, my awe increases
When I see the wisdom
Of Your divine no.
Ruth Harms Calkin, "Tell Me Again Lord, I Forget"
PRAYER IS SURRENDER - surrender to the will of God and
cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook from a
boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to
me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God
to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.
E. Stanley Jones, "A Song of Ascents"
WILLIAM R. NEWELL says kneeling is a good way to pray because it
is uncomfortable. Daniel prayed on his knees. Jim Elliot said,
"God is still on His throne, we're still His footstool, and
there's only a knee's distance between!" He also said, "That
saint who advances on his knees never retreats."
Elisabeth Elliot, "Shadow of the Almighty"
THERE'S SOMETHING EXQUISITELY LUXURIOUS about room service in a
hotel. All you have to do is pick up the phone and somebody is
ready and waiting to bring you breakfast, lunch, dinner, a
chocolate milkshake, whatever your heart desires and your stomach
will tolerate. Or by another languid motion of the wrist, you can
telephone for someone who will get a soiled shirt quickly
transformed into a clean one or a rumpled suit into a pressed
one. That's the concept that some of us have of prayer. We have
created God in the image of a divine bellhop. Prayer, for us, is
the ultimate in room service, wrought by direct dialing.
Furthermore, no tipping, and everything is charged to that great
credit card in the sky. Now prayer is many things, but I'm pretty
sure this is not one of the things it is.
Kenneth Wilson, quoted in Lloyd Cory, "Quote Unquote"
HEAVEN IS FILLED with a room that will surprise all of us when we
see it. The room has within it large boxes neatly packaged with a
lovely ribbon on top with your name on it, "Never delivered to
Earth because never requested from Earth."
PRAYER IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE for work, thinking, watching,
suffering, or giving; prayer is a support for all other efforts.
George Buttrick, quoted in Lloyd Cory, "Quote Unquote"
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I may learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I may do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I may be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
A Confederate Soldier
Croft M. Pentz, "Speaker's Treasury of 400 Quotable Poems"
DEPTH, not length, is important. . . . When the Gettysburg
battleground became a national cemetery, Edward Everett was to
give the dedication speech and Abraham Lincoln was asked to say
"a few appropriate words" Everett spoke eloquently for one hour
and fifty-seven minutes then took his seat as the crowd roared
its enthusiastic approval. Then Lincoln stood to his feet,
slipped on his steel spectacles, and began what we know today as
the "Gettysburg Address: Poignant words "... The world will
little note nor long remember ..." - suddenly, he was finished.
No more than two minutes after he had begun he stopped. His talk
had been so prayer-like it seemed almost inappropriate to
applaud. As Lincoln sank into his settee, John Young of the
Philadelphia Press whispered, "Is that all?" The President
answered, "Yes, that's all."
Don't underestimate two minutes with God in prayer.
Charles R. Swindoll, "Quest for Character"
IF I COULD HEAR Christ praying for me in the next room, I would
not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He
is praying for me.
Robert Murray McCheyne, quoted in Lloyd John Ogilvie, "Drumbeat
GOD ANSWERS SHARP and sudden on some prayers, / and thrusts the
thing we have prayed for in our face. / A gauntlet with a gift in
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"
IT IS POSSIBLE to move men through God by prayer alone.
J. Oswald Sanders, "Spiritual Leadership"
BROOM HILDA, a cartoon character, is a little three-foot-high
witch who is all hair and face. In one amusing comic strip she
approaches a wishing well and, standing next to it, puts her
hands on the edge of the well and says loudly, "I don't want
anything!" And the next panel is quiet. Then she steps back and
says, "I just thought you'd enjoy knowing there was one satisfied
THE CARTOON CHARACTER Ziggy is standing, looking up on a
mountain. The sky is dark and there's one cloud up there. Ziggy
says, "Have I been put on hold for the rest of my life?"
Sometimes prayer feels like that, doesn't it? "Will You ever
answer?" As one man put it, "The heavens are brass and nothing
Tom Wilson cartoon, Universal Press Syndicate, July 18, 1980
(Ah, but it does come back, in God's time, in His time not ours -
DR. LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER told a story on the subject. It seems
that a certain minister was in the habit of profound prayers,
oftentimes resorting to words beyond the ken of his simple flock.
This went on week after week, to the dismay and frustration of
the congregation. At last, a wee Scottish woman in the choir
ventured to take the matter in hand. On a given Sunday, as the
minister was waxing his most eloquently verbose, the little woman
reached across the curtain separating the choir from the pulpit.
Taking a firm grasp on the frock tail of the minister, she gave
it a yank, and was heard to whisper, "Jes' call Him Fether, and
ask 'im for somethin."
Richard Seurne, "Shoes for the Road"
TWO IRISHMEN, Pat and Mike, had narrowly escaped death on a
sinking ship. They were floundering around in icy ocean waters on
a couple of planks. Pat was addicted to the grossest profanity
and he thought he ought to repent of it and then the Lord would
come to his rescue. Mike thought his theology was sound. Pat
began to pray, but just before arriving at the main thesis of his
repentant prayer, Mike spotted a ship coming toward them. As
delighted as Columbus when he first spotted the North American
shore, Mike hollered, "Hold it, Pat. Don't commit yourself.
Here's a ship." Pat immediately stopped praying! Isn't that the
way many of us are? The only time we pray is when we are "in a
jam." As soon as things improve we forget God.
John Haggai, "How to Win over Worry"
O THOU WHO HAS GIVEN US SO MUCH, mercifully grant us one thing
more -- a grateful heart.
A MAN WAS BEING PURSUED by a roaring, hungry lion. Feeling the
beast's hot breath on his neck and knowing his time was short, he
prayed as he ran. He cried out in desperation, "O Lord, please
make this lion a Christian." Within seconds, the frightened man
became aware the lion had stopped the chase. When he looked
behind him, he found the lion kneeling, lips moving in obvious
prayer. Greatly relieved at this turn of events - and desirous of
joining the lion in meditation, he approached the king of the
jungle. When he was near enough, he heard the lion praying, "And
bless, O Lord, this food for which I'm exceedingly grateful!"
FROM "SWINDOLL'S ULTIMATE BOOK OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND QUOTES"
I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing
things for them. It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to
go and see him.
Souls without prayer are like people whose bodies or limbs are
paralyzed: They possess feet and hands but they cannot control
Teresa of Avila
In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words
I have often learned more in one prayer than I have been able to
glean from much reading and reflection.
As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to
I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming
conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom, and that of
all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.
In prayer, we are aware that God is in action and that when the
circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place, and
when our hearts are prepared, he will call us into the action.
Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God
Not to want to pray is the sin behind sin.
To pray is the greatest thing we can do, and to do it well, there
must be calmness, time, and deliberation.
E. M. Bounds
The penalty of not praying is the loss of one's capacity to pray.
Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that
God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray
not for crutches but for wings!
We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We
have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many
services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.
ILLUSTRATION OF PRAYER
Jean Giono tells the story of Elzeard Bouffier, a shepherd he met
in 1913 in the French Alps.
At that time, because of careless deforestation, the mountains
around Provence, France, were barren. Former villages were
deserted because their springs and brooks had run dry. The wind
blew furiously, unimpeded by foliage.
While mountain climbing, Giono came to a shepherd's hut, where he
was invited to spend the night.
After dinner Giono watched the shepherd meticulously sort through
a pile of acorns, discarding those that were cracked or
undersized. When the shepherd had counted out 100 perfect acorns,
he stopped for the night and went to bed.
Giono learned that the fifty-five-year-old shepherd had been
planting trees on the wild hillsides for over three years. He had
planted 100,000 trees, 20,000 of which had sprouted. Of those, he
expected half to be eaten by rodents or die due to the elements,
and the other half to live.
After World War I, Giono returned to the mountainside and
discovered incredible rehabilitation: There was a veritable
forest, accompanied by a chain reaction in nature. Water flowed
in the once-empty brooks. The ecology, sheltered by a leafy roof
and bonded to the earth by a mat of spreading roots, became
hospitable. Willows, rushes, meadows, gardens, and flowers were
Giono returned again after World War II. Twenty miles from the
lines, the shepherd had continued his work, ignoring the war of
1939 just as he had ignored that of 1914. The reformation of the
land continued. Whole regions glowed with health and prosperity.
Giono writes: "On the site of the ruins I had seen in 1913 now
stand neat farms.... The old streams, fed by the rains and snows
that the forest conserves, are flowing again.... Little by
little, the villages have been rebuilt. People from the plains,
where land is costly, have settled here, bringing youth, motion,
the spirit of adventure."
Those who pray are like spiritual reforesters, digging holes on
barren land and planting the seeds of life. Through these seeds,
dry spiritual wastelands are transformed into harvestable fields,
and life-giving water is brought to parched and barren souls.
FROM "1001 QUOTES, ILLUSTRATIONS AND HUMOROUS STORIES" by Edward
PRAYER BEFORE MEALS
Where Did This Come From?
At supper one night, seven-year-old Brad asked why his dad
thanked God before eating food that had come from the grocery
store. The father picked up a roll and asked, "Where did this
"From the store," Brad said.
"Where did they get it?"
"I dunno. From the bakery?"
"Where did they get it?"
"They made it."
"From what?" asked the father.
"Where did that come from?"
"Where did the wheat come from?"
"And where did the farmer get it?"
"He grew it," said Brad.
"And who made the seed?"
"God, I guess," said Brad.
"And that," said the father, "is why we thank Him."
BACK OF THE LOAF:
Back of the loaf is the snowy flour, And back of the flour the
mill, And back of the mill are the wheat and the shower, And the
sun, and the Father's will.
In his book "Home: Where Life Makes Up Its Mind," Charles Swindon
Most of us did not learn to pray in church. And we weren't taught
it in school, or even in pajamas beside our bed at night. If the
truth were known, we've done more praying around the kitchen
table than anywhere else on earth. From our earliest years we've
been programmed: if you don't pray, you don't eat. It started
with Pablum in the high chair, and it continues through
porterhouse at the restaurant. Right? Like passing the salt or
doing the dishes, a meal is incomplete without it.
Swindoll goes on to offer several suggestions for saying grace
before meals, including:
* Think before you pray. What's on the table? Call the food and
drink by name. "Thank you, Lord, for the hot chicken-and-rice
casserole in front of us. Thank you for the cold lemonade."
* Involve others in prayer: Try some sentence prayers around the
* Sing your family blessing.
* Keep it brief, please.
* Occasionally pray after the meal.
According to "Our Daily Bread," when King Alfonso XII of Spain
learned that the attendants of his court were neglecting to pray
before eating, he determined to teach them a lesson. A huge
banquet was prepared, and all the king's guests plowed in, none
of them pausing to give thanks to God. But by pre-arrangement, a
filthy beggar wandered into the banquet hall, seated himself at
the head table, and chowed down.
The guests waited for the guards to seize the man, but, to their
amazement, he continued gobbling up the food without hindrance.
Then the beggar wiped his mouth, rose and stalked out without a
Someone near the king said, "What a despicable fellow! He didn't
even say ,thank you."
Rising, King Alfonso said to them all: "Do you realize that
you've been bolder and more ungrateful than that beggar? Every
day you sit down at a table abundantly supplied by your Heavenly
Father, yet you neither ask His blessing nor express your
It was a lesson none of them ever forgot.
FOOD FOR ALL
George Mueller, born into a German tax collector's family, was
often in trouble. He learned early to steal and gamble and drink.
As a teenager, he learned how to in stay in expensive hotels,
then sneak out without paying the bill. But at length he was
caught and jailed. Prison did him little good, for upon release
he continued his crime spree until, on a Saturday night in 1825,
he met Jesus Christ.
Mueller married and settled down in Bristol, England, growing
daily in faith and developing a burden for the homeless children
running wild and ragged through the streets. At a public meeting
in Bristol on December 9, 1835, he presented a plan for an
orphanage. Several contributions came in. Mueller rented Number 6
Wilson Street, and on April 11, 1836, the doors of the orphanage
opened. Twenty-six children were immediately taken in. A second
house soon opened, then a third.
From the beginning, Mueller refused to ask for funds or even to
speak of the ministry's financial needs. He believed in praying
earnestly and trusting the Lord to provide. And the Lord did
provide, though sometimes at the last moment. The best-known
story involves a morning when the plates and bowls and cups were
set on the tables, but there was no food or milk. The children
sat waiting for breakfast while Mueller led in prayer for their
daily bread. A knock sounded at the door. It was the baker. "Mr.
Mueller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt
you didn't have bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 A.M. and
baked some fresh
bread." A second knock sounded. The milkman had broken down right
in front of the orphanage, and he wanted to give the children his
milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it.
Such stories became the norm for Mueller's work. During the
course of his ninety-three years, Mueller housed more than ten
thousand orphans, "prayed in" millions of dollars, travelled to
scores of countries preaching the Gospel, and recorded fifty
thousand answers to prayer.
Robert Morgan, "On This Day" (Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1997), April 11th.
Charles Colson, former special assistant to President Richard
Nixon, went to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal and
was converted to Christ through reading C. S. Lewis' "Mere
He wrote of his conversion in "Born Again," a book that was
launched with a backbreaking tour that ended up in California.
Arriving late at his hotel, he and his friend Fred Denne went to
the coffee shop for a snack. The room had a Spanish motif; red
tile on the floor, wrought iron tables and chairs. A waitress in
a pink uniform waited on them. The men noticed she looked like a
young starlet, blondish hair and pleasant-faced.
"Two cheese omelets, one milk, and one iced tea," said Fred.
After she left, the two men reviewed the next day's schedule a
few minutes, then decided to ask the Lord's blessings on their
anticipated meal. They bowed their heads, and, as blessings go,
it was fairly long. When they raised their heads, the waitress
was standing nearby, omelets in hand.
"Hey," she said loudly, "were you guys praying?" Everyone in the
small room turned to look at them.
"Yes, we were," said Colson.
"Hey, that's neat," said the waitress. "I've never seen anybody
do that in here before. Are you preachers?"
They said no, but she persisted in asking questions. Then she
said, "I'm a Christian. At least I was once."
"What happened?" the men asked.
"I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a rally when I was a teenager.
Then I went to live in Hawaii. Well, I just lost interest, I
guess. Forgot about it."
"I don't think you lost it," Colson said gently. "You just put it
aside for a while." The waitress seemed thoughtful. "It's funny,
but the moment I saw you guys praying I felt excited all over
They talked to her at some length about returning to the Lord,
about the prodigal son, and about the Lord's love and
Later during their stay at the hotel they saw her again. "Hey,
you guys," she shouted. She told them she had already called a
Christian friend and was joining a Bible study the next day. "And
I'm going to find a church, too. I've come back."
Colson later wrote, "Until that night, I had felt awkward at
times praying over meals in crowded restaurants. Never again."
Charles W Colson, "Life Sentence" (Minneapolis: World Wide,
Hello. This is Emily. I'm fine, how are you? Thanks for the sky
and birds and stuff. Actually I'm having a pretty good week.
And thanks for the mashed potatoes, but not for the lima beans. I
thank you really much for the meatloaf.
And thanks for the chairs, and the tables, and the doors, and the
couch and the television and the walls and the roof and the bed
and the bathroom and the towels and the grass and the clouds and
the street and ...
... Take care. Amen, from Emily. - Prayer of a five-year-old,
reported by Robert Fulghum "Uh-Oh" (New York: Villard Books,
SOMEONE ONCE SAID ...
It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the
morning and the last in the evening. - Martin Luther, in a
forty-page letter to his barber who had asked him about the
* Prayer is the key to the morning and the bolt of the
evening. - Anonymous
* A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to come unravelled. -
* The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from
praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless
work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our
wisdom, but trembles when we pray. - Samuel Chadwick
* Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man's will
done in Heaven, but for getting God's will done on earth. -
* I never prayed sincerely for anything but it came, at some
time ... somehow, in some shape. - Adoniram Judson
* Prayer delights God's ear, it melts His heart, it opens His
hand: God cannot deny a praying soul. - Thomas Watson
* I must talk to Father about this. - Billy Bray
* Prayer bathes the soul in an atmosphere of the divine
presence. - Charles Finney
* When life knocks you to your knees - well, that's the best
position in which to pray, isn't it.? - Ethel Barrymore
* Daniel would rather spend a night with the lions than miss a
day in prayer. - Anonymous
WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE PRAYING
* When thou feelest most indisposed to pray, yield not to it.
But strive and endeavor to pray even when thou thinkest thou
canst not pray. - an old divine
* Pray when you feel like it, for it is a sin to neglect such
an opportunity. Pray when you don't feel like it, for it is
dangerous to remain in such a condition. - quoted by Ruth Bell
* It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business in
the morning and the last in the evening. Guard yourself against
such false and deceitful thoughts that keep whispering: Wait a
while. In an hour or so I will pray. I must first finish this or
that. Thinking such thoughts we get away from prayer into other
things that will hold us and involve us till the prayer of the
day comes to naught. - Martin Luther, in a forty-page letter to
his barber, Peter Beskendorf, who had asked, "Dr. Luther, how do
Newsweek Magazine devoted its cover-story on January 6, 1992, to
the subject of prayer, saying, "This week, if you believe in all
the opinion surveys, more of us will pray than will go to work,
or exercise, or have sexual relations. According to the recent
studies at NORC, a research center, by Andrew M. Greeley, the
sociologistnovelist-priest, more than three quarters (78 percent)
of all Americans pray at least once a week; more than half (57
percent) report praying at least once a day. Indeed, Greeley
finds that even among the 13 percent of Americans who are
atheists or agnostics, nearly one in five still prays daily....
"Indeed, the current edition of 'Books in Print' lists nearly two
thousand titles on prayer, meditations, and techniques for
spiritual growth - more than three times the number devoted to
sexual intimacy and how to achieve it."
The article goes on to talk about the benefits that are
experienced by couples who pray together in marriage, saying, "As
some young couples have found, praying together is the tie that
really binds.... Greeley's surveys show that spouses who pray
together report greater marital satisfaction than those who
don't, and that frequent sex coupled with frequent prayer make
for the most satisfying marriages."
WHAT WE PRAY FOR
According to a Yankelovich Poll reported in USA Today
commissioned for the Lutheran Brotherhood, nine out of ten adults
in America say they pray. What do they pray for most often?
* 98% - Our own families
* 81% - World's Children
* 77% - World Peace
* 69% - Co-workers
The following was an unpublished poem of hymn-writer Fanny
Crosby, recently discovered by Donald Hustad. The manuscript
carried several notations, including the initials "M.S." and the
name "H. P.Main." There is also a question, "Is this O.K.?"
signed by "I.A.S" - Ira Allan Sankey - and the further notes
"O.K." and "This is fine." At the upper right the paper is
embossed with the name "HAMILTON." The poem is entitled, "For
What His Love Denies."
God does not give me all I ask,
Nor answer as I pray;
But, O, my cup is brimming o'er
With blessings day by day.
How oft the joy I thought withheld
Delights my longing eyes,
And so I thank Him from my heart
For what His love denies.
Sometimes I miss a treasured link
In friendship's hallowed chain,
And yet His smile is my reward
For every throb of pain.
I look beyond, where purer joys
Delight my longing eyes;
And so I thank Him from my heart
For what His love denies.
How tenderly He leadeth me
When earthly hopes are dim;
And when I falter by the way,
He bids me lean on Him.
He lifts my soul above the clouds
Where friendship never dies;
And so I thank Him from my heart
For what His love denies.
Fanny Crosby, Jan. 6, 1899
GOD'S FOUR ANSWERS
In talking with people who are concerned because God doesn't seem
to be answering their prayers, Pastor Bill Hybels uses a little
outline he borrowed from a pastor friend of his:
* If the request is wrong, God says: No
* If the timing is wrong, God says: Slow
* If you are wrong, God says: Grow
* But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you
are right, God says: Go!
AWAKENED TO PRAYER
His nightmares began each day when he awoke.
James Stegalls was nineteen. He was in Vietnam. Though he carried
a small Gideon New Testament in his shirt pocket, he couldn't
bring himself to read it. His buddies were cut down around him,
terror was building within him, and God seemed far away. His
twentieth birthday passed, then his twenty-first. At last, he
felt he couldn't go on.
On February 26, 1968, he prayed for it all to end, and his heart
told him he would die before dusk. Sure enough, his base came
under attack that day and Jim heard a rocket coming straight
toward him. Three seconds to live, he told himself, then two,
then. . .
A friend shoved him into a grease pit, and he waited for the
rocket to explode, but there was only a surreal silence. The fuse
For five hours James knelt in that pit, and finally his quivering
hand reached into his shirt pocket and took out his Testament.
Beginning with Matthew, he continued through the first 18
"When I read Matthew 18:19-20," he said, "I somehow knew things
would be all right."
Long after Jim returned home, as he visited his wife's
grandmother, Mrs.Harris, she told him a night years before when
she had awakened in terror. Knowing Jim was in Vietnam, she had
sensed he was in trouble. She began praying for God to spare his
life. Unable to kneel because of arthritis, she lay prone on the
floor, praying and reading her Bible all night.
Just before dawn she read Matthew 18:19-20: If two of you agree
down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in
heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together
because they are mine, I am there among them.
She immediately called her Sunday school teacher, who got out of
bed and went to Mrs.Harris' house where together they claimed the
Lord's promise as they prayed for Jim until reassured by God's
Having told Jim the story, Mrs.Harris opened her Bible to show
him where she had marked the passage.
In the margin were the words: Jim, February 26, 1968.
Archibald Gracie relished his swim on April 14, 1912. The ship's
pool was a "six-foot tank of salt water, heated to a refreshing
temperature. In no swimming bath had I ever enjoyed such pleasure
before." But his account went on to say, "How near it was to
being my last plunge. Before dawn of another day I would be
swimming for my life in mid-ocean in a temperature of 28
After his swim that Sunday night aboard ship, Colonel Archibald
Gracie retired to his cabin and fell asleep, only to be awakened
by "a sudden shock and noise." Dressing quickly, he ascended to
the deck and learned the ship had collided with an iceberg.
During the same moments in New York, his wife's sleep was also
disturbed. Seized by sudden anxiety, she sank to her knees
holding her prayerbook, "which by chance opened to the prayer
'For Those At Sea.'" She prayed earnestly until about 5 A.M. when
the burden lifted. She rested quietly until eight when her sister
softly to the door, newspaper in hand, to gently break the tragic
news that the Titanic had sunk."
What had happened meantime to her husband? "I was in a whirlpool,
swirling round and round, as I still tried to cling to the
railing as the ship plunged to the depths below. Down, down, I
went. it seemed a great distance ... (Ascending back to the
surface) I could see no Titanic. She had entirely disappeared
beneath the surface of the ocean without a sign of any wave. A
thin light grey smoky vapor hung like a pall a few feet above the
sea. There arose the most horrible sounds ever heard by mortal
man, the agonizing cries of death from over a thousand throats
Col. Archibald Gracie later wrote: "I know of no recorded
instance of Providential deliverance, he wrote, more directly
attributable to ... prayer."
Colonel Archibald Gracie, "Titanic: A Survivor's Story"
(Gloucestershire, the United Kingdom, 1985).
COMING TO THE KING
Thou art coming to a King
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such
None can ever ask too much.
FROM "NELSON'S COMPLETE BOOK OF STORIES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND
by Robert J. Morgan
I have spent much time and effort in this 7th piece of armor
we need to put on to battle Satan the Devil. It is indeed one of
our greatest defence and attack weapons. We defend and we attack
Paul went on to request prayer for himself (likewise for
others also) that he would be able to open his mouth or I suppose
write with his pen, in BOLD manner, the mysteries of the GOSPEL.
He was at the time in chains in prison (verse 20), yet he wanted
prayers on his behalf that he could even in prison open his mouth
BOLDLY and speak the Gospel.
At the present in this year of 2009, there is still relative
FREEDOM to proclaim the mysteries of the Gospel. I have freedom
to continue writing and uploading studies to this Website, to
give forth the truths of the Word of the Lord. The day will come
when there will be a mighty blackout on being able to have
freedom to publish what you can find on this Website. I thank you
for your prayers. I request as Paul did that you will remember me
in your prayers, that as long as this age goes on, before the
last 42 months come, that I will be in health, that I will be
able to BOLDLY publish the truths of God, that I will be guided
to speak therein as I ought, so many others around the world will
come to know the salvation of God, and who will accept Christ
Jesus as their PERSONAL Savior, and who will give their lives in
humble repentance to live by every word of God, as our Savior
taught us to do (Mat.4:4).
With all the complete ARMOR of God brethren, we can stand up
TALL AND STRONG to face the enemy, to go to battle with the
unseen powers of spiritual wickedness, and to not only fight the
good fight, but to WIN the battle, to FINISH THE COURSE, and to
be able to say with Paul, "I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH: HENCEFORTH
THERE IS LAID UP FOR ME A CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the Lord,
the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me
only, but unto ALL them that LOVE HIS APPEARING!" (2 Tim.4:6-8).
May our God richly BLESS you all as you SERVE Him with His
WHOLE ARMOR upon you.
Keith Hunt, May 2009