“Prayer; Gathering to Breathe God”, from L.Willows (Quotes on Prayer, His Beloveds, Worship)

Prayer as always been a great passion of mine. I am grateful for a weekly prayer group. It is one of the greatest blessings in my life. We have been meeting together for years.  I remember that when I first started going, I would pray in the car on my way there, “Lord, help me learn to pray well in the group to glorify you. Please help me not to be self conscious, or afraid.” As I neared my destination I remember saying, “And, Lord- please guard me against the sin of pride, prepare my heart for prayer. May your Holy Spirit form the words.” Then I remember parking the car, knocking on the door and feeling exhilarated as we sat down together quietly- ready to begin.

The door that we each knock on is always there wherever we are. It is God’s gift to us. As O. Hallesby says “To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting him to exercise his own power in dealing with them.”

The Lord’s kindness and patience is soft and merciful. He hears the intentions of our hearts when we pray. My desire was to worship Him and glorify Him corporately.

We need to bring our hearts to the Lord during these times. Our journeys are each different but we all need the power of prayer in our lives. I have come to experience that there are different experiences of prayer in life. First prayer is in ongoing relationship with God each day.  Some agree that it can be practiced many times a day. Scripture says “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:18.  Prayer is also with a prayer partner or in triads. Cooperate prayer is praying with a small or large group. Matthew 18:19-20- Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

I believe that we need to gather together and worship. When we gaze at the beauty and majesty of the Lord, our hearts melt. We soften and become His; ready to meet with Him. The hardened parts that have battled the day or denied Him even for a moment, come forward and bend towards the Light of His Love. There, we begin Prayer. We remember who we are– His own, His Beloveds

Our hearts bow before the majesty of His Presence and seeing God’s beauty, we express our adoration and praise.  When we gathering before God, we stand before Holiness. In our prayer closets in our homes, in the intimate temple of His Love- we are with The Eternal One. The Lord Jesus is known and experienced  by the power of His Spirit through prayer.  He is with us. The Almighty God breathes his love, goodness, purpose and blessings into us through prayer.

Because of the joy and encouragement that prayer gives to me, I wanted to share some quotes that I found with you:

St. Augustine – Do you wish to pray in the temple? Pray in your own heart. But begin by being God’s temple, for he will listen to those who invoke him in his temple.

E.M. Bounds – Prayer is a wonderful, powerful; tool placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. Prayer reaches to everything, takes in all things great and small which are promised by God to men. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and his ability to fulfill those promises.

E. M. Bounds – Prayer is God’s life-giving breathe. God’s purposes move along the pathway made by prayer to their glorious designs. God’s purposes are always moving to their high and beneficial ends, but the movement is along the way marked by unceasing prayer. The breathe of prayer is from God.

E. M. Bounds -God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.

John Bunyan – When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than words without heart.

Chrysostom, Saint Joan -Prayer is…a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, ands the mother of a thousand blessings.

Billy Graham – Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together. But it doesn’t pull God down to us: It pulls us up to him.

O. Hallesby -Prayer is so rich and so mobile that all we have to do when we pray is point to the persons of things to which we desire to have this power applied, and He, the Lord of this power, will direct the necessary power to the desired place at once.

O. Hallesby – To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting him to exercise his own power in dealing with them.

C. S. Lewis -Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men in prayer.

C. S. Lewis – It is quite useless knocking on the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.

Martin Lloyd Jones – Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.

Martin Luther – To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Thomas Merton – And when God reveals himself to us in contemplation we must accept him as He comes to us, in His own obscurity, in His own silence, not interrupting Him with arguments or words, concentrations or activities that belong to the level of our own tedious and labored existence.

F. B. Meyer – The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer.

George Mueller – When once I am persuaded that a thing is right, I go on praying for it till the end comes. I never give up till the answer comes. The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer. They do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.”

Charles Spurgeon – Because God is the living God, he can hear; because he is a loving God, he will hear; because he is our covenant God, he had bound himself to hear.

Charles Spurgeon – Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.

Charles Spurgeon – On his knees, the believer is invincible.

Mother Teresa -Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.

Saint Teresa of Avila – Prayer doesn’t consist of thinking a great deal, but of loving a great deal.

John Vianney – The interior life is like a sea of love in which the soul is plunged and ism, and is, as it were, drowned in love. Just as a mother holds her child’s face in her hands to cover it with kisses, so does God hold the devout man.

© 2020 Linda Willows

2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have these treasures in earthen vessels so than the surpassing greatness will be of God and not of ourselves.” Commentary by David Guzik.

Corinthians47Beloved

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.

This amazing except is by David Guzik
(of Blue Letter Bible Commentors); the entirety can be found
on this link from Precept Austin
PRECIOUS TREASURE
IN JARS OF CLAY!

A Christian is like a tea bag—
not much good until it has gone through hot water!

M J Harris introduces these next 7 verses with the interesting comment that…

No person was ever more aware of the paradoxical nature of Christianity than Paul. And perhaps none of his Epistles contains more paradoxes than 2 Corinthians. With their numerous paradoxes, then, 2Co 4:7-12 are typical of this Epistle and of Paul’s style. 2Co 4:7 is the first paradox—the difference between the indescribable value of the gospel treasure and the apparent worthlessness of the gospel’s ministers (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor’s Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing or computer version)

We have (echo) means to have or to possess. The present tense pictures this as their continual possession.

Alfred Plummer has an interesting observation on Paul’s repeated use of echo (to have, to possess)…

The Apostle again and again dwells upon the goodly possessions of the Christian, and especially of the Christian minister; confidence we have (2Co 3:4), having such hope (2Co 3:12), we have this ministry (2Co 4:1), we have this treasure (2Co 4:7), having the same spirit of faith (2Co 4:13), we have a building from God (2Co 5:1), possessing (having) all things (2Co 6:10), having these promises (2Co 7:1); and he often builds an argument upon these goodly possessions. (Ed: Every use of echo is in the present tense picturing the continuance, persistence and permanence of these possessions). (2 Corinthians 4:7 Commentary)

What is the “treasure”? In one of the most beautiful passages in all of Paul’s letters he has just explained that the treasure is the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2Co 4:6-note) (See John Piper’s wonderful summation = Chapter 4: God Is The Gospel – The Glory of Christ, the Image of God – goto page 54 in pdf) In a word the treasure is the creational, transforming power of the Gospel placed into followers of Christ pictured as lowly, even contemptible (as judged by what the world values) “jars of clay”. As discussed more below, this paradoxical association of human weakness with divine power, makes it abundantly clear from Whom the power originates and Who is to receive the glory for the display of that power! As the psalmist aptly stated centuries prior…

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to Thy Name give glory
because of Thy lovingkindness,
because of Thy truth.
(Psalm 115:1-note)

“Let him who boasts (glories),
boast (glory) in the Lord.”
(1 Co 1:31)

David Guzik
David Guzik Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 Precept Austin

“Take the Leap. Stretch your reach. Lift. By the Power of God whose Spirit is in You”…Photo-inspire from LWillows

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