Carey Lewis Devotions
Sunday, March 18th, 2018
Leadership: Prayer
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
For a Christian, leading without prayer is like giving a speech with no voice, firing a gun with no bullets or driving a car with no gas: powerless.

If faith is our pipeline to Heaven, then prayer is our fuel for the trip. But it must be pure, raw and real. Because rote prayers are no more than gassy fumes.

Friends in Christ: Let us not be deceived. We're all hungry children in a bread line. 'Give us this day our daily bread' (Matthew 6:11). Prayer is how we ask. If we forget... or pray without heart, our spiritual lives may starve.

These quotes from Christian leaders, all deceased,* convicted me. Has my prayer life lost weight?

'The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian, and above all the minister, to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected' (Andrew Murray).

'Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer' (Charles Spurgeon).

'There is no wonder more supernatural and divine in the life of a believer than the mystery and ministry of prayer... the hand of the child touching the Arm of the Father and moving the wheel of the universe' (A.B. Simpson).

'Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude--an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God' (A.W. Pink).

'No prayer!--No faith!--No Christ in the heart. Little prayer!--Little faith!--Little Christ in the heart. Increasing prayer!--Increasing faith!--Increasing Christ in the heart!. Much prayer!--Much faith!--Much Christ in the heart! Praying always!--Faith always!--Christ always!' (Alexander Whyte).

'To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work. But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens--this is hard work, but it is God's work, and man's best labor' (E.M. Bounds).

'If you find your life of prayer to be so short, and so easy, and so spiritual, as to be without cost and strain and sweat to you... you have not yet begun to pray' (Alexander Whyte).

'I firmly believe a great many prayers are not answered because we are not willing to forgive someone' (D.L. Moody).

'Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God's Voice in response to mine is its most essential part' (Andrew Murray).

'Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us' (Andrew Murray).

'Prayer is the link that connects us with God' (A.B. Simpson).

'Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do' (Andrew Murray).

'If you are strangers to prayer you are strangers to power' (Billy Sunday).

'Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet' (E.M. Bounds).

'In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not. After that, the idea that prayer is recommended to us as a sort of infallible gimmick may be dismissed' (C.S. Lewis).

'In prayer it is not we who momentarily catch His attention, but He ours, so when we fail to hear His Voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening' (Charles H. Brent).

'I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to Him' (Charles Spurgeon).

'I trust there are none here present, who profess to be followers of Christ who do not also practice prayer in their families' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Me thinks every true Christian should be exceedingly earnest in prayer concerning the souls of the ungodly; and when they are so, how abundantly God blesses them and how the church prospers!' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Oh, without prayer what are the church's agencies, but the stretching out of a dead man's arm, or the lifting up of the lid of a blind man's eye? Only when the Holy Spirit comes is there any life and force and power' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer can do' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Prayer meetings are the throbbing machinery of the church.' (Charles Spurgeon).

'True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length' (Charles Spurgeon).

'When a tear is wept by you, think not your Father does not behold; for, 'Like as a father pities his children so the Lord pities them that fear Him.' Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; your whisper can incline His ear unto you; your prayer can stay His hands; your faith can move His arm. Oh! think not that God sits on high in an eternal slumber, taking no account of you' (Charles Spurgeon).

'Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?' (Corrie Ten Boom).

'Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything' (D.L. Moody).

'Prayer does not mean that I am to bring God down to my thoughts and my purposes, and bend His government according to my foolish, silly, and sometimes sinful notions. Prayer means that I am to be raised up into feeling, into union and design with Him; that I am to enter into His counsel and carry out His purpose fully' (D.L. Moody).

'The morning prayer determines the day' (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

'How many there are whose lives are weak and whose service is poor and ineffective, just because they have not zealously guarded the time and place of prayer!' (Duncan Campbell).

'We can do nothing without prayer' (E.M. Bounds).

'God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer succeeds when all else fails' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid' (E.M. Bounds).

'True prayer must be aflame' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer is our most formidable weapon' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer is the easiest and hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful; its results lie outside the range of human possibilities-they are limited only by the omnipotence of God' (E.M. Bounds).

'Jesus taught that perseverance is the essential element of prayer' (E.M. Bounds).

'Heaven is too busy to listen to half-hearted prayers or to respond to pop-calls. Our whole being must be in our praying' (E.M. Bounds).

' 'Choked to death' would be the coroner's verdict in many cases of dead praying if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity' (E.M. Bounds).

'Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter of prayer' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer is a trade to be learned' (E.M. Bounds).

'Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine' (C.S. Lewis).

'The goal of prayer is the ear of God, a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our heart to Him and permitting Him to speak to us' (E.M. Bounds).

## Leadership Series: Prayer (Part 34)

* Quotes from revered Christians leaders about prayer:

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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