“And Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.” ~ Genesis 32:12
This is the sure way of prevailing with the LORD in prayer. We may humbly remind Him of what He has said. Our faithful God will never run back from His word, nor will He leave it unfulfilled; yet He loves to be inquired of by His people and put in mind of His promise. This is refreshing to their memories, reviving to their faith, and renewing to their hope. God’s Word is given, not for His sake, but for ours. His purposes are settled, and He needs nothing to bind Him to His design of doing His people good; but He gives the promise for our strengthening and comfort. Hence He wishes us to plead it and say to Him, “Thou saidst.”
~ Charles Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook
Familiarity with the form of religion, while we neglect its reality, has a fearfully deadening effect on the conscience. It brings up by degrees a thick crust of insensibility over the whole inner man. None seem to become so desperately hard as those who are continually repeating holy words and handling holy things, while their hearts are running after sin and the world.
~ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
For the true Christian it is not enough to be saved from hell. We want to walk with God, to be close to God. But our sins disturb that intimacy, and may disturb our peace. We do not cease to be children of God – we can still pray ‘Our Father’ – but we are like children locked out, kept at a distance, the show of affection withdrawn. And so we pray ‘forgive us our sins’ as a much-loved child comes in sorrow to be drawn close by a loving parent. Mere forgiveness is not enough – we want forgiveness with kisses, forgiveness and our Father’s face.
~ Peter Lewis
If you take your problem to God, leave it with God. You have no right to brood over it any longer … If you have committed your problem to God and go on thinking about it, it means that your prayers were not genuine. If you told God on your knees that you had reached an impasse, and that you could not solve your problem, and that you were handing it over to him, then leave it with him. Do not go to the first Christian you meet and say, ‘You know, I have an awful problem; I don’t know what to do.’ Don’t discuss it. Leave it with God, and go on to the watch-tower. This may not be easy for us. We may have to be almost violent in forcing ourselves to do this. It is none the less essential. We must never allow ourselves to become submerged by a difficulty, to be shut in by the problem. We must come right out of it .. We have to extricate ourselves deliberately, to haul ourselves out of it, as it were, to detach ourselves from it altogether, and then take our stand looking at God – not at the problem.
~ Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)