Some wise words to encourage us to pray

As I was preparing for my message this week – I came across these words… some of which will be in my sermon.  Even though the language is a bit rough to work through… think through them – especially II, IV, V, VI and VII.

297    Mention Some Reasons that Should Stir and Move Us to Pray When We are Otherwise Slow and Lax.

Text of "Our Father" prayer with Tri...

Text of “Our Father” prayer with Trinity in central column (God the Father, dove of the Holy Spirit, Jesus) and Biblical and symbolic scenes in left and right columns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since nearly all of us are by nature cold and slow to pray, it is very helpful and necessary to know such reasons and have them ready at hand; when we consider and meditate on them, the Holy Spirit stirs up and kindles zeal for prayer in us.

I. Since it is the will and command of God that we pray, as we have shown above from Scripture. Neglecting and ceasing to pray devoutly is therefore no light sin.

II. The great and manifold need by which we are burdened in this penitentiary of the world, and which we cannot sufficiently understand or comprehend by thinking, must less guard against or avert by our effort, should properly move us to pray even all by itself.

III. Also the boundless benefit and very abundant fruit of devout prayers should invite us. For spiritual good things are not obtained from God except by prayers (Lk 11:13). And temporal things are not good for us, unless they are sanctified by prayer (1 Ti 4:4–5). So also St. James describes at length the effect of devout prayer (Ja 5:15–18).

IV. Very sweet divine promises draw and incite us, namely that God the Father embraces us with such great love in Christ His Son, that He regards it as pleasing and acceptable if we approach and address Him with our prayers, and He has promised to incline His ears and hear us.

V. Likewise, that our mediator, Christ, has bound Himself with the firm promise that He would be present when we pray (Mt 18:20) and as our advocate and High Priest Himself bring our supplications to the Father, and intercede for us, and ask the Father together with us.

VI. Also that the Holy Spirit of God, as the Spirit of prayer, would kindle zeal for prayer, and devotion, in us, so that we cry in Him: Abba, Father (Gl 4:6). Indeed, He intercedes for us with unutterable sighs (Ro 8:26). They therefore sorely grieve that Spirit of prayer for whom prayers are not [a matter] for concern or for the heart.

VII. Since prayer is common to all members of Christ, who call upon one Father in heaven, whom we therefore call “our” [Father]. Therefore he that does not pray thereby severs and separates himself from Christ the head and from the members of His body, which is the church, or communion of saints. And God Himself regards and holds those as Gentiles, who do not call upon His name (Ps 79:6; Jer 10:25).

VIII. Since the practice of prayer is truly a training for all piety and a most useful exercise of all of Christianity, e.g., of repentance, faith, patience, comfort, hope, etc. For the Holy Spirit nourishes, preserves, and increases these gifts in us through persistence in prayer, just as, on the other hand, by ceasing them [i.e., prayers] those gifts are gradually diminished and finally disappear altogether.

IX. Where the exercise of prayer grows cold and is neglected, there the door and windows are open to the devil for all kinds of temptations (Mt 26:41; Lk 22:40).[1]

[1] Chemnitz, M., & Poellot, L. (1999). Ministry, word, and sacraments: an enchiridion (electronic ed., pp. 141–142). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 28, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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