Sunday, January 23

A Sunday to Consider Prayer

The featured hymn is from that most prolific of hymn writers--Fanny Crosby.
Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace

Come, ye who from your hearts believe
That Jesus answers prayer,
Come boldly to a throne of grace
And claim His promise there,
That, if His love in us abide
And we in Him are one,
Whatever in His Name we ask
It surely will be done.


Come lovingly and trustingly,
Take Jesus at His Word,
For He has said, “the prayer of faith
Was never yet unheard.”

If in the “fountain filled with blood”
Our sins are washed away
Come boldly to a throne of grace,
Rejoicing that we may
Come boldly to a throne of grace,
And bless the Lord our King—
Who fills our grateful hearts with praise,
And tunes our tongues to sing.

From every precious, golden hour
We spend in fervent prayer,
We gather strength from day to day
For each returning care;
And, while with true, believing hearts
We bow before His throne,
There’s not a promise He has made
But we may call our own.

The sermon is not really a sermon, but rather a paper on prayer written by J. C. Ryle. He introduces his subject like this:
Prayer is the most important subject in practical religion. All other subjects are second to it. Reading the Bible, listening to sermons, attending public worship, going to the Lord's Table--all these are very important matters. But none of them are so important as private prayer.

He gives these reasons for why he can use such strong language about the importance of prayer:
I. In the first place, "Prayer is absolutely necessary to a man's salvation."

II. In the second place, "a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian."

III. In the third place, "there is no part of religion so neglected as private prayer."

IV. In the fourth place, "prayer is that act in religion in which there is the greatest encouragement."

V. In the fifth place, "diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness."

VI. In the sixth place, "neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding."

VII. In the seventh place, "prayer is one of the best way to acquire happiness and contentment."

Why don't you read the paper to see on what basis he makes these claims?