Sep 1, 2014

Encouragement to pray

This year I've been making my way through Studies in the Sermon on the Mount which is actually a collection of sixty sermons preached by Martyn Lloyd Jones at Westminster Chapel in London from 1959-60. From this description you might think this compiled book tedious and dry (sixty sermons?), but that couldn't be farther from what I've found - his words are so full of insight and truth and pastoral care that I could easily wear out several highlighters if I wasn't wanting to keep my copy unmarked!

Here's a quote from his sermon on prayer that I found so encouraging this evening - my prayer life has not been what I desire and I am encouraged to remember what a privilege it is to call God my Father, to think on all this means, to go eagerly and expectantly to Him.

"...we must realize that we are in the presence of God. What does that mean? It means realization of something of who God is and what God is...We should say to ourselves: 'I am now entering into the audience chamber of that God, the almighty, the absolute, the eternal and great God with all His power and His might and majesty, that God who is a consuming fire, that God who is light and in whom is no darkness at all, that utter, absolute Holy God. That is what I am doing.' We must recollect and realize all that. But above all, our Lord insists that we should realize that, in addition to that, He is our Father...
If only we realized that this almighty God is our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. If only we realized that we are indeed His children and that whenever we pray it is like a child going to its father! He knows all about us; He knows our every need before we tell Him.

As the father cares for the child and looks at the child, and is concerned about the child, and anticipates the needs of the child, so is God with respect to all those who are in Christ Jesus.

He desires to bless us very much more than we desire to be blessed. He has a view of us, He has a plan and a program for us, He has an ambition for us, I say it with reverence, which transcends our highest thought and imagination. We must remember that He is our Father. The great, the holy, the almighty God is our Father. He cares for us. He has counted the very hairs of our head. He has said that nothing can happen to us apart from Him...

...when I pray I know that God is my Father, and that He delights to bless me, and that He is much more ready to give than I am to receive and that He is always concerned with my welfare. I must get rid of this thought that God is standing between me and my desires and that which is best for me. I must see God as my Father who has purchased my ultimate good in Christ, and is waiting to bless me with His own fullness in Christ Jesus."  (pp 308-309)

1 comment:

  1. I like Martin Lloyd Jones. I haven't read his work in a long time but I did read that book some time ago. I think someone once gifted it to us but it has long since disappeared. Nice that you learned so much from it. Always good to stimulate your mind for spiritual growth...