POEM: “Elijah’s God Still Lives” by William Grum
Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Isaiah 56:6-7 which reads: “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
Our featured prayer motivator quote is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said, “True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, however clearly we may be aware of its dangers. In the last resort it is immaterial whether we pray in the open street or in the secrecy of our chambers, whether briefly or lenghtily, in the Litany of the Church, or with the sigh of one who knows not what he should pray for. True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs.”
My personal encouragement for you today is this: Nothing will make the devil pay attention to you more than prayer. He will fight you tooth and nail to keep you from your prayer time with God. Please understand that prayer is warfare. Contrary to what people will try to tell you, prayer is never easy, but it is tremendously helpful and rewarding.
Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND CHARACTER AND CONDUCT” part 5 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.
We are enjoined to pray, “lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” and must pass the time of our sojourning here, in a rigorous abstaining from evil if we are to retain our privilege of calling upon the Father. We cannot, by any process, divorce praying from conduct.
“Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”
And James declares roundly that men ask and receive not, because they ask amiss, and seek only the gratification of selfish desires.
Our Lord’s injunction, “Watch ye, and pray always,” is to cover and guard all our conduct, so that we may come to our inner chamber with all its force secured by a vigilant guard kept over our lives.
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.”
Quite often, Christian experience founders on the rock of conduct. Beautiful theories are marred by ugly lives. The most difficult thing about piety, as it is the most impressive, is to be able to live it. It is the life which counts, and our praying suffers, as do other phases of our religious experience, from bad living.
In primitive times preachers were charged to preach by their lives, or not to preach at all. So, today, Christians, everywhere, ought to be charged to pray by their lives, or not to pray at all. The most effective preaching, is not that which is heard from the pulpit, but that which is proclaimed quietly, humbly and consistently; which exhibits its excellencies in the home, and in the community. Example preaches a far more effective sermon than precept. The best preaching, even in the pulpit, is that which is fortified by godly living, in the preacher, himself. The most effective work done by the pew is preceded by, and accompanied with, holiness of life, separation from the world, severance from sin. Some of the strongest appeals are made with mute lips — by godly fathers and saintly mothers who, around the fireside, feared God, loved His cause, and daily exhibited to their children and others about them, the beauties and excellencies of Christian life and conduct.