I recently read Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church by John Onwuchekwa. The review is on its way, but for the meantime here are 10 of my favorite quotes from the book.
Calling on the name of the Lord is more than just saying his name aloud. Throughout the Bible, the name of the Lord is synonymous with the nature of the Lord. To call on his name is to make an appeal to his character.
We should pray so much in our church gatherings that nonbelievers get bored. We talk too much to a God they don’t believe in.
[P]rotection from future sin is found in Jesus. It must be given. The trouble is, we either respond to temptation with anxiety, thinking that we’ll never change, or we respond with arrogance, assuming we have the power to resist.
If you truly know what it means to call God your Father, you want his glory to spread to every corner of theearth. No other request is big enough.
It should not be enough to confess we are sinners; we should name the sins of which our conscience tells us we are most guilty. It should not be enough to ask for holiness; we should name the graces in which we feel most deficient. It should not be enough to tell the Lord we are in trouble; we should describe our trouble and all its peculiarities…What we should think of the patient who told his doctor he was ill, but never went into particulars? What should we think of the wife who told her husband she was unhappy, but did not specify the cause? What should we think of the child who told his father he was in trouble, but nothing more? Christ is the true bridegroom of the soul, the true physician of the heart, the real father of all his people. Let us show that we feel this by being unreserved in our communications with him. -J.C. Ryle
Prayerlessness is a blindfold that makes us unaware of the dangers around us. It gives us a false sense of peace and a naive courage. It leads us to presume that we don’t need the Lord’s help.
We won’t consistently pray if we’re not sure of God’s ability. So much of our failure to pray comes from subtly believeing that within God exists the possibility of failure. Because of this, we never ask God to do the impossible. Instead we pursue only the things we can accomplish on our own.
We explore the wonder of who God is during our prayer of adoration. We embrace the mercy he provides during our prayer of confession. We relfect on all he’s done for us during our prayer of thanksgiving. We lean on him and feel his strength during our prayer of supplication. By including these prayers in our Sunday service, we display the width and depth of our relationship with God.
The power of our prayers isn’t found in the number of people praying, but the willingness of the One to whom we’re praying.
We aren’t given the freedom of communication with God to neatly fit it around our schedules. We’re given this free and frequent access to God because we’re always in need of it. Therefore, we should always pray.