11 Quotes From “A Call To Prayer”

A Call To PayerJ.C. Ryle makes the case for more prayer in his book A Call To Prayer. You can read my book review by clicking here. These are a few of the quotes I thought were thought provoking.

“But this I do say, that not praying is a clear proof that a man is not yet a true Christian. He cannot really feel his sins. He cannot love God. He cannot feel himself a debtor to Christ. He cannot long after holiness. He cannot desire heaven. He has yet to be born again. He has yet to be made a new creature. He may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope, and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if he does not pray.”

“We live in days of abounding religious profession. There are more places of public worship now than there ever were before. There are more persons attending them than there ever were before. And yet in spite of all this public religion, I believe there is a vast neglect of private prayer.”

“Diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness.”

“Bibles read without prayer; sermons heard without prayer; marriages contracted without prayer; journeys undertaken without prayer; residences chosen without prayer; friendships formed without prayer; the daily act of private prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart: these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy, or reaches the point where God allows him to have a tremendous fall. This is the process which forms the lingering Lots, the unstable Samsons, the wife-idolizing Solomons, the inconsistent Asas, the pliable Jehoshaphats, the over-careful Marthas, of whom so many are to be found in the church of Christ.”

“You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public. They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world. Like Peter, they first disregard the Lord’s warning to watch and pray, and then like Peter, their strength is gone, and in the hour of temptation they deny their Lord.”

“Prayer can lighten crosses for us, however heavy. It can bring down to our side One who will help us to bear them. Prayer can open a door for us when our way seems hedged up. It can bring down One who will say, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Prayer can let in a ray of hope when all our earthly prospects seem darkened. It can bring down One who will say, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Prayer can obtain relief for us when those we love most are taken away, and the world feels empty. It can bring down One who can fill the gap in our hearts with Himself, and say to the waves within, ‘Peace; be still.’ Oh that men were not so like Hagar in the wilderness, blind to the well of living waters close beside them.”

“There is not a single good reason that you can show for living without prayer.”

“Wait not because you feel unworthy. Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Waiting comes from the devil. Just as you are, go to Christ. The worse you are, the more need you have to apply to Him. You will never mend yourself by staying away.”

“Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you.”

“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.”

“Sermons and books and tracts, and committee meetings and the company of good men, are all good in their way, but they will never make up for the neglect of private prayer.”

No Exceptions

No ExceptionsKing David wrote a coronation psalm for his Solomon as he ascended the throne in Jerusalem. The opening words say, “Endow the king with Your justice, O God, the royal son with Your righteousness. He will judge Your people in righteousness, Your afflicted ones with justice” (Psalm 72:1-2).

David was calling on God’s blessing on his son, but He was also reminding Solomon that he couldn’t rule without God’s help. David’s singular focus was for God to receive all the glory. He closes the coronation psalm like this: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen” (vv. 18-19).

Solomon started out well. “Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (2 Chronicles 1:1). Even when God gave Solomon the option to ask for anything, he choose wisdom “to govern this great people of Yours (1 Kings 3:7-9).

David strongly impressed on Solomon that obedience to God was the key to God’s blessing on Solomon and on the nation of Israel. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to Him, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (1 Kings 2:2-3).

But there is an ominous word that creeps in very early on in Solomon’s reign. Just one word that foreshadows the downfall that is to come—

Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, EXCEPT (1 Kings 3:3).

As you’ve probably heard, Solomon’s many foreign wives began to lead him astray from “observing what the Lord your God requires” and eventually became his downfall. But it began right here with the EXCEPT.

It’s all or nothing.

I cannot pick and choose which words from God I’m going to follow and which I’m going to “except.” If God says I must do it, then I must do it!

The EXCEPT will lead to my downfall just as surely as it did for Solomon.

Heavenly Father, may I be so sensitive to the prompting of Your Holy Spirit if I’ve let any EXCEPTs creep into my life. Reveal them to me so that I may repent, show myself a man, and follow You wholeheartedly.

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