What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 430

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What to Pray For

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Topic 60:   What to Pray For


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POINT 10:   We should pray for the hallowing of God's name.

      Matthew 6:9 This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name," [i.e., 'May Your name should be revered.']

   The supreme desire of every believer's heart should be that God be duly honored and reverenced. This should be the highest motive in all our prayers. The chief purpose of all our prayers should be that God may be glorified in granting our petitions.

      John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."

      John 12:27-28 [27] Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? "Father, save me from this hour"? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. [28] Father, glorify your name! Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."

   How deep and intense is your desire that God's name may be hallowed, and how often do you really pray for this? To what extent is this the ruling motive of your prayers?

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POINT 20:   We should pray for the coming of God's kingdom.

      Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

   God's kingdom will surely come anyway, but our prayers will hasten the coming of that kingdom. Little do most of us realize how far our prayers go in hastening the coming of God's kingdom, and how far our neglect of prayer goes in retarding the coming of that kingdom. The coming of God's kingdom is one of the intensest desires of the true believer's heart. Yet this prayer is often uttered thoughtlessly and mechanically.

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POINT 30:   We should pray for the coming of God's king, Jesus.

      Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

   The kingdom will never come until the King comes. Yet there are many who have prayed often that the kingdom of God would com, who have never prayed once that the King would come. This prayer stands as the climax of Christian aspiration. It is the final prayer of the Bible. The whole revelation of the Book leads up to this. How often have you prayed for this?

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POINT 40:   We should pray that God's will be done on earth as in heaven.

      Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

   God's will is the most desirable thing in the universe to the true child of God.

      John 4:34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."

   He wishes it done in himself, but not only in himself, but everywhere and in every person and thing. No other prayer rings out quite so heartily from an understanding soul as this: "Thy will be done."

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POINT 50:   We should pray for the reviving of God's work and God's people.

      Habakkuk 3:2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

      Psalms 85:6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

   There is much prayer for revival in these days, but how much of that prayer is governed by the thought that it is God's work and God's people that must be revived? How much of our concern is, because it is God's work that is languishing and God's people that are fainting? Far too often, it is only the interests of man that are to be subserved by a revival, that we have in view in our prayers and efforts for revival. Prayer for the reviving of God's work and God's people is a prayer that God is especially pleased to answer. All through the centuries of Israel's history, and the Church's history, God has granted His reviving grace in answer to prayer. Prayer has been the most prominent human element in great revivals. It has been back of everything else. There have been extraordinary revivals without extraordinary preaching; there have never been extraordinary preaching; there have never been extraordinary revivals without extraordinary praying.

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POINT 60:   We should pray to the Lord of the harvest that He send forth laborers for His end- time harvest.

      Matthew 9:38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

   How often and how earnestly have you prayed this prayer? Christ has given us a very urgent command to do so. Have you obeyed it? There was never a time when there was a greater need for laborers than today. The fields are white and open to the harvesters as perhaps never before in the history of the Church and the world. The way to get the right sort of laborers is to pray for them. There are a great many professed laborers in the Lord's harvest in these days whom He surely never sent. The way to get the right laborers for any particular field is to pray for them.

      Compare Acts 1:24-25 [24] Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen [25] to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.

   If Paul and Barnabas had taken to God in prayer the matter of whether Mark was God's man to take with them on their second missionary journey, instead of trying to settle it themselves, it is quite certain there would never have been occasion to write one of the saddest verses in the Bible.

      Acts 15:39-40 [39] They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, [40] but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

   Many another bitter separation among brethren over ministers could have been avoided in the same way.

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POINT 70:   We should pray for a door of utterance to be opened for those who preach the Word.

      Colossians 4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

   That is the way to get open doors, ask for them. There are few more pitiable sights than men who believe God has called them to preach who can find no open door. True prayer to God to open a door, and a willingness to enter the door God opens, would solve the difficulty. If there is any place where the Gospel ought to be preached, but where there is no open door, pray for it. Paul was in a most unlikely place to find an open door when he made this request. He was in prison, but God heard the prayer and Paul entered a door to an audience to whom he is still preaching. Many a door in heathen lands seemingly closed and barred against the Gospel, has been opened in the same way. Prayer to God will open more doors than appeals to human governments.

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POINT 80:   We should pray for utterance to be given to ministers of th Word in opening their mouths, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, that in it they may speak boldly, as they ought to speak.

      Ephesians 6:19-20 [19] Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

   Not only open doors are needed, but open mouths to enter the opened doors. Ministers of the Word greatly need boldness in this time-serving and compromising age, and in all ages, and God's children should be in constant prayer that ministers of the Word may have this needed boldness. If even fearless Paul felt the need of prayer along this line, how much more do ordinary men need it. There are plenty today to criticize the timidity of preachers of the Word, but how many are there who are in constant and earnest prayer that they may be given utterance, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel? Praying will accomplish far more along this line than grumbling and criticizing.

      Acts 4:29, 31 [29] Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. [31] After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

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POINT 90:   We should pray for ministers of the Word, that the Word of the Lord may run and be glorified.

      2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

   We complain of the slow progress of the Word. Are we praying that it may run?

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POINT 100:   We should pray that God;s ministers may be clothed with righteousness.

      Psalms 132:9 May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy.

   The text applies primarily to priests, and the preacher of the Word is, strictly speaking, no more a priest than any other believer; but he does in a special way represent God, and God's honor is involved in his walk. We may then quite legitimately apply to him this petition for the Old Testament representative of God. We should desire and pray for the righteous walk of those who represent God. This is sadly needed in this day when so many of them are falling into sin, and when the enemies of the Lord are so glorying in their downfall. We live in a perilous time, and we do well to pray for all saints, but especially for those in whose steadfast righteousness God is specially honored, and in whose fall God is particularly dishonored. Let us often and earnestly pray that God's ministers be clothed with righteousness.


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POINT 110:   We should pray for forgiveness of our sins.

      Matthew 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

      Psalms 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

      Luke 18:13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

      Hosea 14:2 Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: "Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips."

      Exodus 34:9 "O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes," he said, "then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."

      Exodus 32:31-32 [31] So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. [32] But now, please forgive their sin -- but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

      1 Kings 8:47-50 [46] "When they sin against you -- for there is no one who does not sin -- and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to his own land, far away or near; [47] and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, `We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly'; [48] and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; [49] then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. [50] And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy;

      Acts 8:22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

   It is sometimes said that believers ought not to pray for forgiveness of sin, but simply to confess their sins. That comes from forcing 1 John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.) beyond what it says, and contradicts the plain teachings of the Word elsewhere. It is true that God has provided pardon for all the believer's sins on the ground of the all-sufficing atoning blood of Christ, but what God has thus provided we appropriate to ourselves by confession of sin and prayer for pardon. Prayer for pardon is a proper acknowledgement to God of our guiltiness. Prayers for pardon are more frequent in the Bible than prayers for almost anything else. Of course, we ought not to pray again and again for the forgiveness of some sin that we have already laid before God, and that has thus been put away forever.

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POINT 120:   We should pray to the Lord to search us and try us.

      Psalms 139:23-24 [23] Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. [24] See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

   The true child of God will desire that every evil way in him be searched out and brought to light. This work can never be thoroughly and satisfactorily done by any process of personal self-examination. God must do it, and He does it in answer to prayer. It needs to be done frequently. Sin and selfishness and carnality and worldliness surround us as the very atmosphere we breathe, and are constantly creeping into our hearts and lives unawares. Each day should close by our going into God's presence and laying our inmost lives and outward walk before him, and asking Him to search them through and through, and to lay bare to us whatever in them is hateful to Him. This will be to us a painful, but a salutary process.

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POINT 130:   We should pray for cleansing from sin.

      Psalms 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

      Psalms 19:12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

   The Hebrew verb translated "cleanse" in both of these passages means to "clear" or "acquit." This prayer is a prayer for pardon -- cleansing from guilt -- rather than for cleansing from the presence of sin.

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POINT 140:   We should pray for God to create in us a clean heart.

      Psalms 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

   It is vain for us to try to cleanse our own heart. A clean heart requires a creative act that God alone can perform. He will do it in answer to prayer. He will create in us a heart that loves righteousness and hates sin.

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POINT 150:   We should pray for God to hold us up.

      Psalms 119:117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees.

   If God holds us up we "shall be safe." We are never safe unless God does hold us up. It is a hopeless task to try to stand alone. The way is too slippery, and not one of us is sure-footed. He "who thinks he stands" needs to "take heed lest he fall."

      1 Corinthians 10:12-13 [12] So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! [13] No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

   The only sure way of taking heed is by humble, honest and earnest prayer. God is abundantly able and willing to hold us up.

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POINT 160:   We should pray to be kept back from, and delivered from the dominion of presumptuous sins.

      Psalms 19:13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

   the word here translated presumptuous, means primarily boiling, then swelling, insolent, arrogant, proud. Pride and arrogance are common to us all. God alone can keep us back form them.

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POINT 170:   We should pray that God will not let us wander from His commandments.

      Psalms 119:10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

   "Prone to wander" is what every child of Adam is. Unless we are constantly looking to God to keep us from wandering we are sure to go astray from the straight path of His Word. But He is very ready to keep us from wandering if we look to Him to do it.

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POINT 180:   We should pray that we not be brought into temptation, nor enter into temptation.

      Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

      Mark 14:38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

   This is the prayer that springs from a true knowledge of self. If we have true humility we will recognize our own weakness and this petition will be often upon our lips. No man who has any true knowledge of himself will court temptation. He will flee from it and pray God not to bring him into it. Many a man who has made seemingly great attainments in the spiritual life, has fallen because he has lost the spirit of this prayer. It is one of the most suggestive petitions of the wonderful prayer which Jesus taught His disciples.

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POINT 190:   We should pray to be delivered from the Evil One.

      Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

   Anyone who carefully and candidly studies the New Testament and human history must be convinced of the existence and awful power, cunning and malignity of the Evil One. We must realize that our only security against his wiles and his power is in constant prayer to God.

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POINT 200:   We should pray for the Lord to guard our mouths.

      Psalms 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

   This is the only way in which our speech can be governed.

      James 3:8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

   But God can govern the tongue and will in answer to prayer.

   Under the immediately preceding Points 170-200 we have a fourfold keeping: our lips kept from uttering what they ought not, our feet kept from wandering where they ought not, and we ourselves kept from doing what we ought not and from all the power of the enemy.

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POINT 210:   We should pray for Jehovah to teach us His way, the way of His statutes, His path, to do His will.

      Psalms 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

      Psalms 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.

      Psalms 25:4-5 [4] Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; [5] guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

      Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

   We will never know His way nor how to do His will until He Himself teaches us, and He will not teach us unless we ask Him to. We can, however, ask Him with absolute confidence that He will teach us.

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POINT 220:   We should pray for the Lord to teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

      Psalms 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

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POINT 230:   We should pray to be taught to pray.

      Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

   "We know not how to pray as we ought," but the Lord is just as ready to teach us today by His Spirit (Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.), and by His Word, as He was to teach His disciples when here, by word by mouth.

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POINT 240:   We should pray for the Lord to open our eyes to behold wondrous things out of His own Word.

      Psalms 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

   We shall never see nor appreciate the wondrous things of God's Word until God Himself opens our eyes to behold them. This He does in answer to prayer. Prayer gives a keenness of perception to spiritual beauty of which the prayerless man never dreams. No amount of study of Hebrew or Greek, or mere intellectual study of any sort, will open spiritual eyes blinded by sin. The prayerless eye can no more see the spiritual beauty of God's truth revealed in the pages of the Bible, through the spectacles of linguistic knowledge, than the blind natural eye can see the beauties of the natural world through any spectacles no matter how scientifically constructed. There must be natural sight to discern natural beauty. There must be spiritual sight to discern spiritual beauty. A man who has sight can see more beauty without spectacles, than a sightless man can with the best glasses ever constructed. So the man who has spiritual sight can see more beauty in the Word of God without the aid of scholarship, than the spiritually sightless man can with all the aids of the most recent and most approved scholarship. There is many a modern Bartimeus occupying a theological professorship who needs to cry:

      Mark 10:51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

   But they go on, the blind leading the blind, and both are falling into the ditch of destructive criticism. Only prayer will open our eyes to a real appreciation of the Bible. One can see more of its beauty and learn more of its truth in an hour at the feet of Jesus, than in four years at the feet of men, who, professing themselves to be wise, are become fools.

      Romans 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

   Every minister and every believer needs to take a course in that Seminary in which one matriculates by prayer. The most ignorant and most learned child of God will find that the Bible opens up wonderfully by prayer. One ought never to open his Bible, even for a few moments' study, without at least breathing to God the substance of the Psalmist's prayer.

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POINT 250:   We should pray to be led and guided.

      Psalms 31:3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

      Psalms 27:11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

      Psalms 139:24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

   Who knows the way he ought to take? Perils are on every hand, but there is ever an unerring hand within reach to lead us safely on. We grasp that hand by prayer. We need God's guidance at every step of the way. We cannot altogether trust the wisest human guides. We do not need to. It is our privilege not only to ask God to lead us, but to lead us "in a plain path." He is ready to lead us in the way everlasting.

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POINT 260:   We should pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Ephesians 1:17-19 [17] I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. [18] I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

   The only way to really know Christ is through that spirit of wisdom which God gives in answer to prayer. No amount of unaided searching will ever find Him out.

   The result of receiving this "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" will be, that we shall have the eyes of our hearts enlightened so that we shall know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.

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POINT 270:   We should pray to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

      Colossians 1:9-10 [9] For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

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POINT 270a:   We should pray to live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of the Lord.

      Colossians 1:10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

   This prayer is worthy of deep and careful meditation.

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POINT 280:   We should pray that the Father will strengthen us with power. This power is the power of the Spirit dwelling in our inner being.

      Ephesians 3:16 [16] I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

   The result of the inward strengthening granted will be:

   First: that Christ will dwell in our hearts through faith.

   Second: that we, being rooted and grounded in love, shall be made strong to apprehend together with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge

   Third: that we shall be filled to the full with the fullness of God.

   Surely that is a glorious and inexhaustible prayer.

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POINT 290:   We should pray for the Lord to make us increase and abound in love toward one another and toward all men.

      1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 [12] May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. [13] May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

   Many of us bewail our lack of love. This verse indicates the way to get it. Ask for it. In this way He will establish our hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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POINT 300:   We should pray for the God of peace to sanctify us wholly, and that our spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

   The word for "wholly" in this passage is an extremely strong word; it is a double word, and means "perfect in every respect," absolutely perfect. Nothing short of absolute perfection will satisfy the true child of God. We may have already attained a relative perfection, a condition of maturity, but we pray for absolute perfection, and in answer to our prayers it shall be ours at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Philippians 3:15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

      1 Corinthians 2:6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

      2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

   QUESTION: Why do you say "spirit and soul"; don't those words mean the same thing?

   ANSWER: No; Man is a spirit, he has a soul, and he lives in a body. By contrast, God, the angels, and demons are spirits, but they don't have souls. (Note: this is an extremely technical concept that is not particularly important for understanding Christian teachings.)

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POINT 310:   We should pray for personal nearness to and communion with God and the glad contemplation of His beauty.

      Psalms 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

   This was the Psalmist's supreme request. He longed not so much for Jehovah's gifts as for Jehovah Himself.

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POINT 320:   We should pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

      Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

      Acts 8:15-16 [15] When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, [16] because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

      John 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

      John 7:37-39 [37] On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. [38] Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." [39] By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

430.060.330       Torrey: p443, T:VI, P:33
POINT 330:   When the joy of the salvation of the Lord has been lost, we should pray for its restoration.

      Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.


430.060.340       Torrey: p443, T:VI, P:34
POINT 340:   We should pray for wisdom.

      James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

   This is not altogether a temporal blessing, but this promise covers wisdom in temporal matters as well as in spiritual. We have a right to ask God for wisdom in all the affairs of life.

      Compare Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

430.060.350       Torrey: p443, T:VI, P:35
POINT 350:   We should pray for our daily bread.

      Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

      Luke 11:3 Give us each day our daily bread.

   The exact meaning of the word translated "daily" is hard to determine, as it is used nowhere else, except in the parallel passage of Luke 11:3. Various translations have been suggested, such as "sufficient bread", "bread proper for sustenance", "needful bread", "bread for the coming day." They amount to about the same thing. In any case the thought is that we are to depend upon God from day to day to supply our physical need as it arises. The petition does not give us any warrant to ask God for stores for future need, but it does invite us to ask God for sufficient supplies for each day's need as it arises. In the Old Testament we find prayers for large earthly prosperity which were answered.

      Genesis 27:28 May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness -- an abundance of grain and new wine.

      1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

      Genesis 28:3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.

430.060.360       Torrey: p443, T:VI, P:36
POINT 360:   We should pray to the Lord for healing in physical weakness.

      James 5:14-16 [14] Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. [16] Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

      Psalms 103:2-3 [2] Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -- [3] who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

   In Judges 16:28, we find Samson praying for extraordinary physical strength for an extraordinary emergency. The strength was granted, and God today gives men extraordinary strength for extraordinary emergencies. This fact gives us no warrant for tempting God by overwork.

      Judges 16:28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."

430.060.370       Torrey: p444, T:VI, P:37
POINT 370:   We should pray to God for keeping from the wicked who spoil us and the deadly enemies who compass us about.

      Psalms 17:8-9 [8] Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings [9] from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

   This will afford us surer protection in a lawless city or in the perils of the foreign field than carrying firearms for self-defense.

      Isaiah 19:20 It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.

      Psalms 59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me.

      2 Thessalonians 3:2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

430.060.380       Torrey: p444, T:VI, P:38
POINT 380:   We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

      Psalms 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure."

430.060.390       Torrey: p444, T:VI, P:39
POINT 390:   We should pray for the peace of the city in which God has placed us.

      Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

      Compare: Isaiah 62:6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest,

      Psalms 51:18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.

   It is doubtful if we can accomplish much in some cities by our votes, but there is no city in which we cannot accomplish much by our prayers. There is a place where the influence of a child of God counts more than at the polling-booth or the caucus -- that is at the throne of grace. There are many today urging Christians to vote as they pray. The average twenty-first century Christian needs more to be urged to pray as he votes. If he were to vote as he prayed he would not vote at all. Prayer needs to be made a power which it is not in municipal affairs.

430.060.400       Torrey: p444, T:VI, P:40
POINT 400:   We should pray for anything which is according to the will of God.

      1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

   The question arises, How are we to know what is according to the will of God? The answer is simple: By the promises of His Word, and by the leadings of His Holy Spirit. Whenever I find God promising anything in His Word I know it is His will to give it. Whenever the Holy Spirit leads my hart to pray for anything, I know that this also is according to the will of God.

      Romans 8:26-27 [26] In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. [27] And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

430.060.410       Torrey: p445, T:VI, P:41
POINT 410:   We should pray for everything we need.

      Philippians 4:6, 19 [6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [19] And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

   It is our privilege to live a life absolutely free from anxious thought. This is only possible by taking every need, great and small, to the Father in trustful prayer. Then the peace of God which passes all understanding shall guard our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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