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Prayer, Reformed

When You Pray

These quotations are from When You Pray, by Herman Hanko, published by the RFPA.

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“I wonder sometimes whether we really appreciate what a blessing prayer is. We need not make an appointment to come to God—as we do when we want to see a doctor. We are never told that the earliest we can come to our Father in heaven is three weeks from tomorrow. We do not have to wait until God has some time available for us and then learn that he can give us only a 15-minute appointment. We do not have to dial his number, follow complicated menus by pressing various numbers on the dial, and finally find that the line is busy. We do not have to concern ourselves by being in a specific place at a specific time in the hopes that he will be there as well. Every moment, in every hour of the day, he is there ready to hear and answer. He gives us all the time we need. His answers to our prayers are always exactly the right ones. He is ever near to them who call upon him. How much richer our lives would be if they were lives of prayer!” - Page 5.

“Because prayer is rooted in and flows out of Scripture, Bible reading and meditation are essential for a life of prayer. In our personal and private devotions, when we are alone with our God in prayer, poring over and meditating on God’s holy word makes prayer easier and richer. When we pray in the company of our families at mealtime, or with God’s people in fellowship and in public worship, God’s word is at the center of such devotions.When our lives are ones of conscious fellowship with God in the hours of the day or night, such fellowship is possible only because we have hid God’s word in our hearts, loving it, recalling it, confessing it, living by it. The relation between meditation on God’s word and prayer is reciprocal. We need to pray for the Spirit to be able to understand God’s word; we need to understand God’s word to pray by the power of the Spirit.” - Page 12-13.

“Confession of sin before the face of the Most High is the only way to come to him in humility, and it is surely the only way to know of forgiveness and pardon. All the sins of all God’s people are taken away in the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ, but the conscious assurance of that forgiveness comes only in the way of confession and sorrow of heart. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8, 9).
The forgiveness of sins is more important to the child of God than anything else. Anyone who has a vestige of longing for fellowship with God will recognize that forgiveness of sins is the one great blessing. If he gains the world for himself and has not the forgiveness of sins, he has nothing. And if he loses all things in this world, even his life, but knows that his sins are washed away in the blood of Christ, he has peace in his heart and possesses all things worth having. This is true because with forgiveness of sins comes the assurance of God’s favor, the smile of his face, the peace that passes understanding, and the joy of salvation. It is a treasure greater than all the treasures of the world.” - Page 65.

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