Tag Archives: Prayer

Spurgeon on Prayer

“The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalog of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust…Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Quotes


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The Danger of Dishonoring God in Our Home Life: 1 Peter 3:7

Occasion: Sunday Worship 24th August 2014

There is an Akan Proverb that goes something like this: If you respect or honor me, I also will respect or honor you.  The Proverb teaches that elders treat youth similar to the way the youth treat their elders, and disrespectful youth will not receive the respect from elders they desire.

Text: 1 Peter 3:7

Purpose: Peter emphasizes the importance of husbands treating their wives with honor and the danger of not doing right toward them, so they will treat their wives as God would command them to be treated.

Proposition: God wants you to honor your wife.

Interrogative: How will a husband honor his wife?

Truth 1: Disobedience is dangerous: 3:7 “Husbands are commanded to honor their wives, so that their prayers may not be hindered.”

There is a simple yet important principle, that God does not bless disobedience.  Here are just three out of many Biblical examples:

  • God rejected the worship of the disobedient: Genesis 4:5-7 God did not respect Cain and his offering. And said, if you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.
  • God refused to answer the prayers of the disobedient: Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
  • God made people’s work unfruitful when they were disobedient:

Ecclesiastes 3:13 That ability to enjoy the good of all our labor– is the gift of God.

Proverbs 13:7 There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

Haggai 1:1:5-7 Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes…Consider your ways…You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why…Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.

God does not bless our willful disobedience, even if we have been able to justify it in our own hearts, and here are just a few among many scriptures that bluntly state this truth.

Truth 2: Obedience takes work: three simple commands

Live with your wife: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with…”

Ephesians 5:31 At marriage, two shall become one flesh.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

You cannot obey this passage if you do not live together, and this instruction is for the benefit of both husband and wife.

Warning: Do not give in to the temptation to live separated from your spouse. 

Walking in obedience is called walking by faith for a reason, and walking in disobedience means I am not trusting God in a specific area of life.

Learn about your wife: “according to knowledge/with understanding”

You must work hard as a husband not only to live with your wife, but to really know her as a person.  One of my responsibilities as a husband is to lead my wife and to disciple her in the faith.

3 Biblical Responsibilities:

  • Men should initiate the marriage: Genesis 2:34 A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.
  • Husbands should disciple their wives: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive…and if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home.
  • Husbands should lead their wives: 1 Peter 3:1,6 Wives, be submissive to your own husbands…Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.

Love your wife: giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life. (Joint heirs means we are a unified team working together for

Wives are not inferior to their husbands or worthy of a smaller reward because their position in the home is one of submission rather than leadership.  Peter emphasizes that husband and wife are a team and joint heirs of the grace of God.

Ephesians 5:25-29 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and as your own bodies; nourishing and cherishing our wife, just as the Lord does the church.

The husband’s calling in the marriage and in the home is a difficult calling, but beautiful and rewarding.

Conclusion: God wants you to honor your wife. Will you honor Him by honoring your wife?

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in 1 Peter Sermons


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Carson on Prayer and Our View of Self

Paul’s prayer arises out of passionate affection that seeks the good of others—not their praise, gratitude, acceptance, and still less some sense of professional self-fulfillment. This is extraordinarily important. Often when someone expatiates on how wonderful it would be to be back home with loved ones, we are listening not only to protestations of love but also to confessions of loneliness or dislocation. We like to be with those we love because in most instances they are the ones who love us. They make us feel stable, cherished; when they are around, we belong.
Such a sense of home is entirely normal, and not to be despised. Unfortunately there is an ugly variation of it in the ministry. There are preachers who so loudly declare their love of preaching that it is unclear whether it is their own performance and their love of power that has captured them or their desire to minister to the men and women who listen to them. A church organist may buck every suggestion that a young, new musician be permitted to serve in this way, and pretty soon the reason becomes clear: the organist’s self-identity is so bound up with the public performance of music that any thought of serving people has been suppressed, to the point that the thought of being replaced is intolerable.

Carson, D. A. (1992). A call to spiritual reformation: priorities from Paul and his prayers (p. 82). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Quotes


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Carson on Prayer

We become fruitful by grace; we persevere by grace; we mature by grace; by grace we grow to love one another the more, and by grace we cherish holiness and a deepening knowledge of God. Therefore Paul reminds his readers at the end of his prayer that everything he has asked for is available only on the basis of grace. The Savior himself cannot be glorified in our lives, nor can we be finally glorified, apart from the grace that he provides.
We are not to think of ourselves as basically independent and on the right track, but occasionally in need of a little input from the Deity, a little blessing called down by an appropriately formulated prayer. That sort of view is almost akin to pagan magic; it is only a whisker from raw animism.

Carson, D. A. (1992). A call to spiritual reformation: priorities from Paul and his prayers (pp. 60–61). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House

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Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Quotes


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God’s Help for the Family

God’s Help for the Family

Text: Deuteronomy 6:1-7

Purpose: Moses wants to warn God’s people that their future enjoyment of their covenant relationship with God was dependent upon their willingness to instill a fear of God in their children that would point them to trust in the coming Messiah, and to walk in humble obedience to their covenant God.

Proposition: God wants us to shape our children’s worldviews leading them to salvation and discipleship through instruction in the context of our daily living.

Interrogative: How do we do this?

God’s tools: 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

  • Meditate on the nature of the Gospel: 1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
  • Study and internalize the Word of God: 2 Timothy 3:17 The word of God was given that we might be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
  • Have a consistent Biblically prioritized prayer life: Philippians 1:9 Paul prayed that their love might abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
  • Do not neglect the local church: Ephesians 4:12-13 The church body and all the gifts is for the equipping of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Our context: 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Our personal walk affects our children:

Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

I Kings 15:25-26And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.  And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

1 Kings 22:41-43And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.  Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.  And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD:

Our relationship with our spouse affects our children

  • Gender and family roles are shaped by what children observe in the home.
  • Solving problems and making decisions are shaped by what children observe in the home.
  • Resolution of conflicts is shaped by what children see in the home
  • A child’s view of love and submission are shaped by what they see in the home.
  • The credibility of our Christian faith is strengthened or weakened by what our children see in the home.

Our local church affects our children: Ephesians 4:12-13 The church body and all the gifts is for the equipping of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

  • Our children’s view of worship is shaped by the church we attend.
  • Our children’s pool of friends is shaped by the church we attend.
  • Our children’s doctrine is shaped by the church we attend.
  • Our children’s approach to Bible study and interpretation is shaped by the pattern they see in the pulpit of the church we attend.
  • Our children’s commitment to the body is shaped in the church we attend.

Our choice of education affects our children: Psalm 1:1-2Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

  • Our children’s worldview is shaped by those we allow to school them.
  • Our children’s friends are chosen within the environment we allow them to be schooled.
  • Our children’s life skills are shaped by those we choose to school them.
  • Our children’s future spouse is likely chosen in the environment in which we chose to allow them to be schooled.

Questions to Consider:

  • Are you focused on the gospel?
  • Are you focused on the word?
  • Are you on your knees?
  • Are you committed to God in the context of the local church?
  • Are you patterning and teaching a Biblical worldview in your daily living?

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Ephesians 6: Spiritual Warfare Exposition

Occasion: Tuesday Bible Studies 28th January, 4th February 2014

Typical focus of those facing spiritual opposition:

  • Identify the source, assuming it is spiritual.
  • Remove the problem by some spiritual means.
  • Plead with God to remove the struggle.
  • Declare the blood of Jesus over the problem.
  • Claim victory in the name of Jesus.
  • Binding demons.
  • Fast and pray over your struggle.
  • Deliverance services and techniques
  • Letting go and letting God
  • Laying all on the alter
  • Walking an isle to receive a pastoral prayer

Biblical response to spiritual opposition:

  • All circumstances are under the sovereign control of God.
    • Some evils come from bad decisions.
    • Some evils come from discipline.
    • Some evils are outside our control.
    • Nothing that happens to a believer that is outside of God’s sovereign control.
    • Not always God’s will to protect us from certain evils
    • God always uses evil in believer to accomplish good.
  • You will rarely get the answer to why.
  • You are not entitled to the answer why.
  • Looking back is always clearer than looking around and forward.
  • Put on the whole armor of God: This is the means by which, the believer is able to stand against the wiles of the devil!

 Belt of Truth:

What is it? Kept the soldier’s robe from causing him to trip in battle, and falling down in battle is a sure way to get killed by the enemy.

  • Understand the truth
  • Apply the truth
  • Live truthfully.         

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • He tempts us to dwell on what we cannot know.
  • He tempts us to be controlled by lies.
  • He tempts us to try superstitious methods.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • The truth is reality and reveals and confronts lies.

 Breastplate of righteousness:

What is it? The breastplate protects our vital organs.  Without the breastplate, we are susceptible to death blows from the enemy.

  • Not imputed righteousness
  • Practical righteousness produced by the Spirit in the process of sanctification.

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • He tempts us in areas where we are weak.
  • He tempts us to make excuses for areas where we let down our guard.
  • Satan exploits us when we fail by revealing it to others.
  • Satan exploits us when we fail by planting doubts, thoughts of failure, and hopelessness.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • When we walk uprightly, we do not give place to the devil.

Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:

What is it? When a soldier went into battle, he needed sure footing when they enemy attacked.  This is similar to a sound stance by a boxer or wrestler.

  • This is not talking about evangelism
  • This is our firm conviction that we are at peace with God.

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • Satan plants thoughts in our heart that we are under God’s displeasure and anger.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • The gospel reminds us that Christ is our peace with God, our righteousness, obedience, and our propitiation.  His death and shed blood provided a full atonement for our sins.  His fulfillment of the Law has provided a righteous legal verdict before God.  Saving work has given me full access to God and placed me in a position of His favor, by grace alone.

Above all take the shield of faith:

What is it? Shooting flaming darts was a common practice in ancient warfare.  To combat this problem, soldiers would dip their shields in water to quench these fiery darts.  Ironically, extinguishing flames would not only protect the soldier who was immediately in danger, but it would also protect their brothers in the battle.

  • We enter the new life by faith alone.
  • We walk in the new life by faith alone.
  • This faith in graciously given to us by God through the word of God.
  • This faith in strengthened and matured through the word of God.
  • This faith must be resting fully on the word of God.

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • Satan works to keep us out of the word.
  • Satan works to plant doubts regarding the things we read and hear preached from the Scriptures.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • Faith is the opposite of doubt, and faith removes doubt.

Take the helmet of salvation:

What is it? Obviously, the helmet protects the head.  The head is the house of the mind, and without a sound mind, we are susceptible to death blows from the enemy.  The mind can destroy a person whose body is otherwise very healthy.

  • The helmet protects the mind, and in this situation, it is focused on the thinking of the Christian.
  • The aspect of our salvation that he is emphasizing is the believer’s blessed hope, our future deliverance from this fallen world and entrance into God’s eternal Kingdom.

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • He tempts us to feel we cannot stand.
  • He tempts us to think the battle will never end.
  • He tempts us to see what is happening today, rather than the glory that is yet to come.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • It instructs our mind that the battle is not forever, we can stand by the enablement of our all-mighty God, and there is glory yet to come in the future.

Sword of the Spirit, the word of God:

What is it? Obviously, when you go into battle you need more than defensive pieces of armor.  You need something to go on the defensive, and the sword was the weapon of choice in the ancient world.

  • The Word of God is the only offensive weapon mentioned.
    • Scriptures
    • Preached word

How does Satan attack us in this area?

  • Satan works to keep us out of the word.
  • Satan works to plant doubts regarding the things we read and hear preached from the Scriptures.

How does this piece of armor meet the need?

  • The scriptures go on the offensive to combat lies, whether in the person, the home, or the church.

The Believer’s Overall Attitude:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit: (Notice fasting is not mentioned in this passage, which might be a surprise to some.)

  • Prayer: This indicates an attitude of humble dependence upon God for victory in the battle.
    • Supplication: This indicates an interest in the battles that others are facing, not just your own battle.  This also indicates the corporate nature of spiritual warfare.  We were not designed to live the Christian life walking alone. We are to be a part of a spiritual body.
    • In the Spirit: This is not a reference to praying in tongues as some Charismatic would like to interpret it.  When we walk in the Spirit we are not walking in tongues.  It refers to prayer that is influenced by the Spirit in the following ways.
      • Motivated by the Spirit
      • Guided/influenced by the Spirit
      • Enabled by the Spirit.

Being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints:

  • Be circumspect: Go about your day not fearfully, but rather with eyes open to the attacks that could await us.
  • Be persistent: Do not quit.  The battle is a tool God uses to strengthen us in our Christian experience and to mature us in His service.

Final thoughts:

  • The Christian must be circumspect.
  • The Christian must be prepared to persevere.
  • The Christian cannot accept fallible human traditions, superstitions, and ideas as substitutes or supplements to God’s equipping.
  •  The Christian must to be a scripture focused person:
    • Belt of truth: The scriptures are truth
    • Breastplate of righteousness: Right living is founded on God’s instruction in the Scriptures
    • Gospel of peace: The gospel is revealed in the scriptures
    • Shield of faith: Scripture is the object of our faith and the tool God uses to give us faith, strengthen us in the faith, and mature us in the faith.
    • Sword of the Spirit/word of God: The Word of God is the Scriptures.
  • The Christian must guard his mind with the following foundational truths
    • I am at peace with God.
    • The end of this conflict is eternal glory and God’s eternal Kingdom
  • The Christian must constantly express his inability apart from the gracious work of God, through prayer.
  • The Christian must be concerned about his brothers and sisters in their spiritual struggles.



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John Owen on Prayer in Bible Study

“For a man solemnly to undertake the interpretation of any portion of Scripture without invocation of God, to be taught and instructed by his Spirit, is a high provocation of him; nor shall I expect the discovery of truth from any one who thus proudly engages in a work so much above his ability.” John Owen

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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Quotes


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