Monday, February 13, 2012

Classic Sermons on Prayer

Classic Sermons on PrayerClassic Sermons on Prayer by Warren Wiersbe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an excellent resource for those looking for a study on "pray." Warren W. Wiersbe has collected 14 sermons on prayer. The sermons are by the following men: Clarence Edward Noble Macartney (1879-1957); Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899); C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892); Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853); J.H. Jowett (1864-1923); W.M. Clow (1853-1930);  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1895-1981); R.A. Torrey (1856-1928); Alexander Whyte (1836-1921); Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910); G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945); A. C. Dixon (1854-1925); G. H. Morrison (1866-1928); and W.E. Sangster (1900-1960). As you can see a wide variety of preachers.

Here is one quote from the sermon by Spurgeon, "If I am called upon to pray in public, I must not dare to use words that are intended to please the ears of my fellow-worshippers, but I must realize that I am speaking to God Himself and that I have business to transact with the great Lord."

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Below are quotes some some of the sermons found in this book:

Clarence Edward Noble Macartney (1879-1957)
“The Word That Conquers God”

The first recorded prayer is a prayer of intercession. Life’s golden altar is the altar of intercession. A person never does a nobler act than when he becomes a priest to others and makes intercession for them. p. 10

Do not fear your solitary moments. God will come closer to you then than any other time.                                                                                                                      p. 13
Do not mourn over the hard and difficult experiences of life, over the touches of providence that, as it were, have thrown your thigh out of joint, for in ways that you know not they have made you strong. Still more is this true of our sorrows and our trials. At first they seem to come upon us with threat and anger, as that mysterious battle came upon Jacob there in the lonely watches of the night on the banks of the Jabbok. But their only purpose is to bless us, change us, to teach us how to pray, to transform our characters. Therefore, when these angels in disguise come upon you, hard though the battle is and desperate the encounter, heavy and labored though the breathing of the soul may be, make sure that you conquer God in them. Make sure that you utter the prayer of struggling Jacob, “I will not let the go except thou bless me.” p. 14

Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)
“The Prayers Of The Bible”

Our Master’s prayers were short when offered in public; when He was alone with God, He could spend the whole night in communion with His Father. My experience is that those who pray most in their closets generally make short prayers in public. Long prayers are too often not prayers at all, and they weary the people. p. 23

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
“The Throne of Grace”
The Need for Enlarged Expectations: if it be a throne, it ought to be approached with enlarged expectations. Well does our hymn put it: Thou art coming to a king, large petitions with thee bring. p. 30

If I am called upon to pray in public, I must not dare to use words that are intended to please the ears of my fellow-worshippers, but I just realize that I am speaking to God Himself and that I have business to transact with the great Lord. p. 32

John Henry Jowett (1864-1923)
“Where Our Greatest Battles Are Fought”

Prayer is not always petition, sometimes it is just communion. It is the exquisite ministry of friendship. It is the delicate passage of intimacies; it is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. p. 54

William M. Clow (1853-1930)
“The Energy of Prayer”

The highest attitude in prayer is not desire nor aspiration nor praise. It is surrender. In surrender we open our whole being to God as a flower opens itself to the sun, and we are filled, up to our measure, with His divine energy. It is because man can be filled with the fullness of God that he has been chosen of God as His instrument in the world. p. 65

Bunyan wrote: Whether to heaven or hell you tend, God will have glory in the end. p. 67

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1895-1981)
“Jesus on Prayer”

Is the terrible sin of praying in public in a manner which suggests a desire to have an effect upon people present rather than to approach God with reverence and godly fear. p. 77

Public prayer should be such that the people who are praying silently and the one who is uttering the words should be no longer conscious of each other, but should be carried on the wings of prayer into the very presence of God. p. 78

Reuben Archer Torrey (1856-1928)
“The Power of Power”

As I said, we do not live in a praying age. We live in an age of hustle and bustle, of man’s efforts and man’s determination, of man’s confidence in himself and in his own power to achieve things, an age of human organization and human machinery, human push and human scheming, and human achievement, which in the things of God means no real achievement at all. p. 89

I believe that the devil stands and looks at the church today and laughs in his sleeve as he sees how its members depend on their own scheming and powers of organization and skillfully devised machinery. “Ha, ha,” he laughs, “you may have your Boy Scouts, your costly church edifices, your multi-thousand-dollar church organs, your brilliant university-bred preachers, your high-priced choirs, your gifted sopranos and altos and tenors and bases, your wonderful quartets, your immense men’s Bible classes, yes, and your Bible conferences, and your Bible institutes, and your special evangelistic services, all you please of them; it does not in the least trouble me, if you will only leave out of them the power of the Lord God Almighty sought and obtained by the earnest, persistent, believing prayer that will not take no for an answer.” p. 89

Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do anything, prayer is omnipotent. No one can stand against the one who knows how to pray and who meets all the conditions of prevailing prayer and who really prays. p. 90

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk [plod right along day after day, which is far harder than running or flying], and not faint.” It is the privilege of every child of God to have the power of God in his service. And the verse just quoted tells us how to obtain it, and that is by “waiting upon the Lord.: Sometimes you will hear people stand up in a meeting, not so frequently perhaps in these days as in former days, and say: “I am trying to serve God in my poor weak way.” Well, if you are trying to serve God in your poor, weak way, quit it; your duty is to serve God in His strong, triumphant way. But you say, “I have no natural ability.” Then get supernatural ability. p. 94

You say, “I have no natural gifts.” Then get supernatural gifts. p. 94

George Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)
“Prayer or Fainting”

Men “ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Interpret your prayer by negation. Prayer is the opposite of fainant. Fainting is a sudden sense of inability and helplessness, the cessation of activity, weariness which is almost, and ultimately is, death. Pray and do not faint. To pray is to have the vision clear, the virtue mighty, the victory assured. To pray is to “mount up with wings as eagles,” to “run and not be weary,” to “walk, and not faint.” p. 128

Amzi Clarence Dixon (1854-1925)
“How To Pray”

There is a profound something about prayer which never lies on the surface. To learn it, one must go to the depths of the soul and climb to the heights of God. The importance of it cannot be overestimated. Luther’s motto gives us the secret of success along all lines: “To have prayed well is to have preached well, to have written well, to have worked well, to have resisted well, to have lived well, and to have died well. Prayer is the key to success. Not to pray is to fail. To pray aright is never to fail. p. 135

It is said of a great general that he expressed his purpose to destroy all his enemies, but when he had captured the opposing army, he forgave them and sent them home to their families. When asked why he did not keep his word, he replied, “I have destroyed all my enemies; they are not my friends.” God would destroy all His enemies by making them His friends by the power of His forgiving love in Jesus Christ. p. 139

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