The Mountain Retreat

Biblical Discussions => Apologetics => Topic started by: Charles on September 28, 2011, 05:38:15 AM

Title: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Charles on September 28, 2011, 05:38:15 AM
Hi,
  I'm a newbie here and have an obviously newbie question. How important is prayer in understanding the gospel? How much should we pray before it is considered vain and repetitious? Thanks!

Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: SavedByGrace on September 29, 2011, 09:25:29 PM
Hi Charles,

Welcome to the forum.  I don’t know how much reading that you have done on this site, but there is a lot of discussion that can be found with the great search feature.  Putting quote marks around the search words will fine tune the search for you.

Here is a forum question that was discussed not long ago which might help.
http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=2569.0
 (http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=2569.0)
I think that you will find this forum a great place to challenge your beliefs in light of God's Word.

Bill
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Charles on October 18, 2011, 02:09:39 PM
I was hoping to get more answers, but thank you billnjune for the link. It is very helpful.
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Alex Rowland on October 18, 2011, 04:27:18 PM
I was hoping to get more answers...

HA! You're lucky you go one answer here. And I don't say that to be mean. Did you see on the news about the Chinese pedestrians who passed by a girl who was hit by a van and didn't bother to help. And even another van ran over her again without so much as a pause. Take a look.


That's life with people today. Reminds you of the good Samaritan, doesn't it?

If you're hoping for help, the truth is that one guy waited here 7 years before someone bothered to reply to his post (not an exaggeration, the truth). This is more a reading forum, than a forum where anyone will actually take time to help you. Blessings to billnjune, but they are the exception.

the good news is, I guarantee you will get an answer at the Puritan forum.

http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/

We'll leave the lights on for you. In the meantime

http://www.puritanboard.com/f24/power-prayer-sheffey-30504/

The Power of Prayer
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: YourBroNChristJesus on December 13, 2011, 11:55:37 AM
If you desire knowledge; ask of God. To ask of God, you are praying.   5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:5 (KJV)

God looks upon the heart; can't fool God and there's no time to play church.............. upbraideth not is the key here.......

Seek God as David did.
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: SavedByGrace on March 29, 2012, 09:30:41 PM
If you're hoping for help, the truth is that one guy waited here 7 years before someone bothered to reply to his post (not an exaggeration, the truth). This is more a reading forum, than a forum where anyone will actually take time to help you.

Charles,

There is a difference between this forum and others.  If someone feels qualified to answer then they will likely answer.  But unlike other boards, if someone does not feel qualified to answer, then they will pass. 

Alex, you sound as if you have a lot of answers, so why did you not answer this question.  I personally do not feel that I can give a Biblically qualified answer, so I simply passed rather than to give unbiblical or unfounded advice.  I would much prefer to have well-thought-out answers than a lot of shooting from the hip and unsound advice.  That is largely what is wrong with our churches and Christian forums today.
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Melanie on March 30, 2012, 01:00:31 AM
Charles,
 Sometimes people mean to answer but forget the post, or think someone else will answer with a better reply. It's not that anyone is ignoring your post, just that we all have feet of clay.

I would recommend this FAQ for starters.

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/does_god_answer_prayers.shtml

Does prayer change things? How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel? What is the purpose of prayer? Does God answer prayer? Tony Warren addresses these questions here. Hope that helps you.

As for Alex of Puritanboard Forum, he is the proverbial thorn in the side. But God's grace is sufficient.


Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Kenneth White on March 30, 2012, 07:18:19 AM
My sincere apologies for not answering your message earlier Charles.  I think that we get so busy in this world that we often neglect the more important things. Like Charity. And it is sad and a debilitating anchor on the backside of Christianity that is growing ever so larger. Thank God for people like Tony, Melanie and others here who demonstrate charity that the rest of us should have.

I can only add that I believe that the answer to your question is that prayer is extremely important in understanding the Gospel? For knowledge and wisdom come from the God, and when we pray from the heart, the spirit takes our prayers perfectly before Him. Our spirit witnesses with His spirit, and that is our communion with God through prayer.

"Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom". Psalms 51:6

Prayer is very important in understanding the Gospel that we live a life that is pleasing to God. Prayer is communion with God, and we cannot really commune with God without prayer and supplication. The bible commands us to, pray without ceasing

"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit". 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
 
This means that we are to be regular and routinely in observance of prayer. When we stay in communion with God, sin has less of a chance to take hold in our lives as our minds stayed are on Him. It is very important to pray before and after we study the Scriptures diligently in order that we might be given understanding and knowledge of God. Rightly understanding the gospel requires the Holy Spirit applying this knowledge correctly, and communion with God in prayer is essential. We must have a deep relationship with the Lord, expressed through prayer, if we are going to be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit wants us to use God’s wisdom in our lives every day. Don't be afraid to talk to God, ask Him about your questions, petition him for your needs, but always that His will be done.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Matthew 7:7-9

The connection between the gospel and communion with God in prayer is highlighted in many places throughout the Bible.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed". James 1:5-6

Here we see the importance of prayer that God will give us wisdom concerning the gospel. Too many Christians today neglect prayer and instead vie for the advice of professionals, family counsellors, psychologists, friends, pastors and consensus. People who don't understand the gospel anymore than we do. We should pray for wisdom concerning the things of God, for who better to give it? We seek it where it may be found.

"If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding". Proverbs 2:4-6
 
For example, King Solomon is well known for his wisdom and understanding, what is not so well known and considered is that this wisdom came only after he communed with the Lord in prayer (1 Kings 3:1–15). Anyone can preach a gospel, as we've sadly seen and heard. But do they really understand the gospel when they don't even understand how important Prayer is in understanding the Gospel?

Effectual fervent regular Prayer is often the hardest spiritual discipline to practice consistently. I think we all inherently understand that we should pray, but we often find ourselves feeling unworthy, unsure of what to say, or how to act when we come before the Lord. But as Tony said in his article, God wants us to pray. He wants us to be in communion with Him. We don't have to devise fancy prayers, we just open up our heart to Him. Start with the Lord's prayer, and add your request, praise and surrender to His will in all things. Even things we consider bad things for us.

The divinely inspired prayers of Psalms are good examples, and they demonstrate how we are to pray humbly, in repentance, with joy, seeking understanding of the gospel and worshiping the Lord in all things.  How can it not be important in helping us understand the gospel?
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Frank Mortimer on March 30, 2012, 12:13:13 PM
My sincere apologies for not answering your message earlier Charles.  I think that we get so busy in this world that we often neglect the more important things. Like Charity. And it is sad and a debilitating anchor on the backside of Christianity that is growing ever so larger. Thank God for people like Tony, Melanie and others here who demonstrate charity that the rest of us should have.

So true. John, Billnjune and Ray also.

Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Maurice on March 30, 2012, 02:46:59 PM
Thank God for people like Tony, Melanie and others here who demonstrate charity that the rest of us should have.

So true. John, Billnjune and Ray also.


 And the rest of us are what? Chop Liver? Too selfish to offer any help? Too stupid to have an answer? You know, just because we don't believe in predestination the way you few do does not mean that we are less human beings or less charitable. Everyone is not a Bible thumper. There are lots of ways to be charitable. Show love to your neighbor, give to the poor, volunteer to work at an animal shelter, donate blood, undertake to drive someone to the store. It's not all about the gospel, many people are spiritual in other ways.
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Reformer on March 30, 2012, 04:36:15 PM
Thank God for people like Tony, Melanie and others here who demonstrate charity that the rest of us should have.

So true. John, Billnjune and Ray also.


 And the rest of us are what? Too selfish to offer any help?                  0

 Well, when I log on, I usually see 3 or 4 different people logged in or reading most times, so if the shoe fits, wear it  ::)

 Or maybe you're all just too busy to bother? Like I said, if the shoe fits, don't be offended, wear it proudly! If it doesn't fit, then the shoe isn't for you.

 What are you, a size 10?  ;D



Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Reggie Matthews on March 31, 2012, 12:42:35 AM
The Importance of Prayer

An informed Protestant commentator says that "many Christians today, including
theologians openly acknowledge that their prayer life is virtually nonexistent."

A rather sad observation, but not too surprising. Many Christians are spiritually poverty-
stricken. Ours is not a time of spiritual power. But it should not puzzle us that many find
it difficult to pray these days.

The vertical relationship with God is de-emphasized while the horizontal relationship
with God is stressed to such an extent that little room is left for prayer. We have to be
with it in the here and the now. We apparently don't need to tap any more the fountain
of spiritual life giving waters in order to get the strength to be the doers of the faith.

Yet, thoughtful Christians know that they, cannot do without prayer. When Christians
scan the affairs of men and of nations with a discerning spirit, they cannot help but pray.
The needs of the world make them turn to God.

Furthermore, they study the Scriptures and discover that God commands them to pray.
Yes, the Almighty God tells them to pray! They have no choice in the matter. And why
shouldn't they pray? If God is their Father through Jesus Christ, the Lord, shouldn't
there be regular conversation?

Prayer is miraculous. Imagine human beings talking with the Almighty God! Yes,
Christians do converse with God. Prayer is never a one way communication. Of course
many prayers have no address and are like telegrams sent to nowhere.

You have desperate people who send up a quick prayer. They consider prayer just like
a button you need to push in case of fire, an emergency measure. Others consider God
like a grocery store. You send in your list of wants and there will be automatic delivery.

How is it possible that small, finite men are allowed to talk with the Almighty and infinite
God? Why does God still bother to listen to His creatures? Why is it that God can listen
to each one of us individually while at the very moment that we are praying thousands
of fellow Christians around the world are praying?

There have always been questions, intellectual difficulties, and personal trials to
challenge the people as they try to pray. We find the greatness of God so hard to grasp.
But prayer is beautiful, real and yet mysterious. We commune with the Almighty God
who is there, and not with a man. We forget this so often. We try to pull God into our
system of thought. He has to follow our wishes and has to conform to our thought
pattern, as if He were like one of us.

Prayer has always sustained Christians. They have always considered it as important
as the air they breathe. They knew that without prayer spiritual life withers and dies. No
exuberant relationship with God was considered possible without this daily prayer
fellowship.

The Reformer Martin Luther wrote:

"Though I am sinful and unworthy, still I have the commandment of God, telling
me to pray, and His promise, that He will graciously hear me, not on account of
my worthiness, but on account of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Martin Luther was a very busy man, but he was a man of much prayer. Adoniram
Judson, one of the greatest American missionaries, was emphatic in his insistence upon
prayer. He remarked: "Be resolute in prayer. Make any sacrifice to maintain it. Consider
that time is short and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy
God."

Miss Helen Wiliis, a missionary who was able to operate a Christian bookshop in
Shanghai until April 1958, wrote a book, Through Encouragement of the Scriptures: Ten
Years in Communist Shanghai, after she was expelled. She tells how communists'
hated and feared prayer.

One charge against her was that she had supplied information used by the imperialists
as prayer topics. She tells of a young man in the far west of China, an only son, who
prayed for his widowed mother with an incurable disease in Shanghai. In prison he was
told that he would be released if he stopped praying; but he would not.

How we need this spirit of prayer today! Spiritual vitality can only come through
persistent prayer. Much prayer is needed! Never think that praying is a waste of
precious time! We can pray with assurance and confidence, and make our petitions for
others and ourselves, but only when we go to the right address. When we come in trust
to God through Jesus Christ, we will be heard. Like the disciples we should plead:
"Lord, teach us to pray."

Johan D. Tangelder
January, 1973

Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: SavedByGrace on March 31, 2012, 02:06:27 PM
Charles,

I am not a master on this subject, so I feel like I am shooting from the hip too, but perhaps some of my thoughts will spark some comments that might help. 

Some years ago, it dawned on me that just like the Doctrines of Grace, where we have to read and interpret scriptures from our knowledge of the Sovereign God.   The same must be done with the issue of Prayer.  There are many passages (some listed above), which seem on the surface to indicate that God will give us what we ask of Him, but when we think one level deeper and realize that God is “All Knowing”, All Sovereign, knowing the beginning from the ending” and that he is the master designer of this creation.  With that knowledge in mind (and I don’t think that I need to prove these facts), we have to ask the questions, “Is there anything that I can do to make God change His mind?”  Are God’s actions dependent upon me in any way? Do my prayers change God?  The answer must be “Obviously not, because if something that I did or did not do, influenced God, then God would not be All Sovereign” but would be ringing his hands waiting to see what I might do before taking action.

Now we must read these prayer verses in light of our knowledge of God and that is much more difficult but I believe that this is the only way to find truth.  It must be that God directs the true Christian to pray for what He already wants to accomplish? The statement “If we pray in His name He will give us what we ask”.  Or to say it another way, “If we ask something that is already His will, then He will give us that, because that is what he was planning to do in the first place”. 

The verse “Pray without ceasing” must mean that we are always to be in tune with God.  It cannot mean that we are to go without sleep or never to do anything else in our lives.  The tag phrase at the end of our prayers “We pray in the name of Jesus” must mean that our request is to be in accordance to the will of Jesus or of God. 

The next area of thought is “Should we pray for the Salvation of another (perhaps our child)?”  Again, we must realize that only the elect of God will be saved, therefore, if he is elect he will be saved and if he is not then he will not be saved.  The only answer that I can come up with is that praying for Salvation will help us to accept the will of God in the Salvation of our children.

The question then arises, why pray if our prayers do not change the will of God?  1) Because He tells us to do so.  2) That our praying will help US to be in accordance to our heavenly father.

I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but it appears to me that understanding that God is all Sovereign and that we are not, will help us as we study His word.  Any comments and thoughts will be welcome in helping me be a better student of the Bible.

Bill
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: William B on March 31, 2012, 03:26:52 PM

Excellent observation.

Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Dana Pescator on April 24, 2012, 10:20:26 AM
The Importance of Prayer

playmp3.sa-media.com/media/93005153916/93005153916.mp3 (http://playmp3.sa-media.com/media/93005153916/93005153916.mp3)

Puritan sermon by Greg Price
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Stephanie on April 25, 2012, 10:02:34 AM
Thank You Dana
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: ZeroCool on January 12, 2019, 02:22:05 AM
I find that prayer is indispensable for me, so every time I sit down to read the gospel I pray first for God to have grace and open my eyes to help me understand what I am reading. So I think Prayer is essential to understanding the gospel.

I would recommend this link.

https://pres-outlook.org/2018/03/the-most-important-part-of-thankfulness-a-reformed-view-of-prayer/

It has some truly helpful information about prayer and what our attitude toward it should be.
Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Trotter on January 13, 2019, 06:21:42 PM

Why is daily prayer important? (https://www.gotquestions.org/daily-prayer.html)

Title: Re: How important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel?
Post by: Frank Mortimer on January 14, 2019, 12:32:49 AM
Asking how important is Prayer in understanding the Gospel is like asking how important is talking to a witness in solving a case. Obviously, it's crucial. Prayer is very important because it is the communion with God where we not only make our requests and desires known, but that makes our spiritual growth and ministry possible because God works through it. If we do not pray regularly, where is our communion with God even realized in our lives? God wants us to pray, to ask, to seek communion with him.

If your prayer life isn't what it should be and if you seldom pray to God, is it any wonder that you can't grasp the spiritual meaning and intent of the gospel message? Ask through prayer and it will be given you.

Luke 11:9
"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

If we truly have a desire to understand the gospel, prayer is necessary because it is God's way of reaching us through our reaching out to him. We are instructed to ask for whatever we need, to seek knowledge that we might have communion with him. Prayer is the way we do that.