Out walking our beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog this evening on a lovely summer's evening.
Here are some thoughts from a conversation that I had with my wife, on the stroll, as to reasons we should delight to pray often.
**First God's Open Access Policy. **Round the clock, day and night, the Father's door is open to hear His children's prayers.
Second Our Great High Priest. Christ is engaged in continual everlasting intercession for His people in order that their persons and prayers may find acceptance with the Father - Hebrew 4.14-16.
Third Believers Sin Frequently. More than we know, we are in constant need of ongoing confession, cleansing of conscience, and assurance of pardon, so keeping our list short and confession up to date is best - 1 John 1.5-10.
Fourth Saints Need Much Grace. To keep our vows, fulfill our duties, know God's will, meditate on truth, enjoy Christian fellowship, cherish our relationships, obey the commandments with joy, thanksgiving, devotion, sacrifice and kindness requires more faith than we have and more grace than we seek.
Fifth Prayer Lists Are Long. Luther did not always pray 3 hours a day. Sometimes, he said, that his dog was keener on eating dinner than his master was eager to get to his devotions - however, he usually did, due to burden of the work and enormity of his responsibilities. Apart from our own ministries, most of us have family, many as-yet-unconverted relatives, neighbors and acquaintances. Then there is our church, and the needy, sick, infirm, aged, tested members and covenant kids in our congregations. We are citizens of nations, further, within which the Lord has sovereignly placed us - he grants us the privilege of being prayerful intercessors, for those in high positions, to facilitate the Gospel. Added to that is the weekly Word preached, the mission of the local church. denominational work both at home and abroad. Don't forget, too, the needs of the worldwide church, to know Christ more and His resurrection power - Philippians 3.10, Ephesians 1.15-23 & 6.17-20.
Sixth Christ's Parousia Still Tarries - "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus" Revelation 22.21.
Seventh God's Power Is Limitless. What encouragement it is to know that measureless help exists to begin on earth the eternal exploratory task of fathoming the depths and spanning the breadth of the eternal loving purpose of God in Christ towards His own - Ephesians 3.20-21.
Eighth Cultivation of Personal Communion. It is John Owen who stressed the privilege Christians have in the grace of mutual fellowship with each of the persons of the Triune God. This is our great glory, joy, and life, to commune with God in Christ and get to know our Maker, Provider and Redeemer better. Frequent prayer takes us, in baby steps, from the edge of the ocean of divine holy love and mercy, a little deeper into the grace and peace of God. This is our chief end 'to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!' What could be more encouraging, elevating, happier for the soul than to cultivate closer fellowship with Christ.
Ninth Abundance Of Grace Available. There is more infinite grace to be given and received by God, than we can ever ask, seek, knock or enjoy. Grace to know Christ more fully. Grace that the fruits of the Spirit might about. Grace to become more like Jesus. Grace to have the strength, constancy, fervency, mind, words and thoughts to pray.
Tenth The Spirit's Intercessory Ministry. Even when we are uncertain what to ask for, in times of deep distress or personal perplexity, God, by His Spirit, so works within our heart, to move us to take hold of God's promises in His Word, so that we know what is God's mind - Romans 8.26-27.
Eleventh God's Commands Frequent Prayer. All our requests are to be made known to God - Philippians 4.5-7. What joy, peace, assurance and help we forfeit because we do not carry all to God in prayer. Thankful, unceasing, prayer is God's will for His people, both individually and corporately - 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18. Of course by yourself you cannot do it all - you and I have human frailties and we have to feed and sleep - but you can, I'm sure, offer a little more fragrant incense to your voice of blood-bought prayer.
...So I trust you feel encouraged to pray for grace, from the sinless prayer stalwart, Jesus, to bring your requests and knock on your Father's door as a many-times daily delight!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
What a miracle of the grace of God who conducts the symphony of the prayer orchestra of His people, all playing their harmonious notes, all around this planet of prayer, 24/7/365. This chorus is just beginning and will never fall silent, so be encouraged brother to ask, seek, knock, and add a few additional notes.
I trust these rather hurried thoughts will draw you closer to the Lord, and intensify your cries.