Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.
~ Prayer of Basil of Caesarea (329-379)
“The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well, till it is burned into my heart by prayer.”
~ John Bunyan (1628-1688)
“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
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God – we can still pray ‘Our Father’ – but we are like children locked out, kept at a distance, the show of affection withdrawn.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)
We ask you, Master, be our helper and defender. Rescue those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy; heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.
~ Prayer of Clement of Rome (c.96)
To be guilty of the sin of prayerlessness is to be guilty of the worst form of practical atheism. It is actually saying we can get along without His help while the evidence is very clear on every hand that we cannot. Could it be that the sin of prayerlessness steams from our unbelief that he is a living God who exercises direct influence on the affairs of men?
~ Rev. Bruce Willis