"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « GOD MOVES IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY By William Cowper | Main | Speaking of answered prayer... »

    How's Your Prayer Life? by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones

    What is the place of prayer in your life? What prominence does it have in our lives? It is a question that I address to all. It is as necessary that it should reach the man who is well versed in the Scripture, and who has a knowledge of its doctrine and its theology, as that it should reach anyone else. What part does prayer play in our lives and how essential is it to us? Do we realize that without it we faint?

    Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the character of our prayer life. It is more important than knowledge and understanding. Do not imagine that I am detracting from the importance of knowledge. I spend most of my life trying to show the importance of having a knowledge of truth and an understanding of it. That is vitally important. There is only one thing that is more important, and that is prayer. The ultimate test of my understanding of the Scriptural teaching is the amount of time I spend in prayer. As theology is ultimately the knowledge of God, the more theology I know, the more it should drive me to seek to know God. Not to know about Him, but to know Him. The whole object of salvation is to bring me to a knowledge of God. I may talk learnedly about regeneration, but what is eternal life? It is that they might know Thee, the only true God in Jesus Christ whom God has sent. If all my knowledge does not lead me to prayer there is something wrong somewhere. It is meant to do that. The value of the knowledge is that it gives me such an understanding of the value of prayer, that I devote time to prayer and delight in prayer. If it does not product these results in my life, there is something wrong and spurious about it, or else I am handling it in a wrong manner.

    Posted by John Samson on April 25, 2006 01:55 AM


    "A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more."

    -Robert Murray M'Cheyne

    Aspiring Theologian
    A Reformed Blog By A Reformed 11th Grader

    Great quote. I struggle to pray regularly and deeply sometimes. I let myself get so caught up in other matters, that I end up trying to pray meaningfully as I'm drifting off to sleep at night. I know I'm not the only Christian who falls short of a life of prayer as described by Dr. Jones. Does anyone have any suggestions for good resources about prayer, or for making it a regular and dependable part of daily life?

    Very convicting, but right on the money. Thank you for posting this insightful exhortation by Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Much needed.

    One of the ways God gets me to pray is to drive me to my knees. He is pretty good at it too. I like that quote from M'Cheyne Aspiring Theologian put up as well. I am reading Brooks "The key to Heaven" right now.

    Perhaps the spiritual anemia of the post-modern Church has spawned from our prayerlessness. The key for us here is to not just talk about, read about and discuss prayer, but to put "secret prayer" on the top of our lists of priorities and follow through by DOING IT.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


    The best way to become a man of prayer is to commit yourself before the Lord to spending serious time in prayer. The remedy to not praying only as you drift off to sleep is to give the Lord the first part of your day! Allow more time in the morning for Bible reading and prayer. If you have to wake up sooner then do it! Start with whatever time your body can spare (in terms of arising sooner) and in time you will find that you both crave and cherish those times with the Lord. You may drift off to sleep during these times, but take heart, the Lord understands sleeping disciples! :)

    As far as resources, start with Paul’s prayers. Read through all of his epistles and mark the passages where he prays or says he is praying for someone (ex Ephesians 1:15-23). Make a catalog of these prayers and pray them as circumstances give rise. The Gospels are also a great place to see how Jesus responds to people’s supplications and how/if they are answered. Many of the Psalms are prayers as well.

    Give yourself ample time to read through the entire Bible, noting all of the prayers that are prayed and how God responds to them (if given). Then study the passages to discern their meaning and you will have an arsenal of prayer to bring honor to the Lord. (Ephesians 6:18)

    Yours in Him,

    This post was just what I needed. Yesterday, I was reading a bit from Leonard Ravenhill, and he said, "Ministers who do not spend two hours a day in prayer are not worth a dime a dozen - degrees or no degrees." It truly convicted me.

    This morning, I resolved to get up early and spend an hour in prayer and Bible study. I fell asleep after 45 minutes.

    After I woke up again, I thought of the disciples falling asleep in the garden, and Jesus saying, "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?"

    It is encouraging to hear that this is a sort of skill that can be cultivated. I have to admit that I felt very "un-spiritual" when my wife woke me up from the couch.

    Here's to growing in the Lord, failures and all!

    Great post. One of the surest ways of avoiding nodding off is to pray out loud. This will also help you to grow in artulating what you really want to communicate.

    And don't forget freshly ground coffee close at hand. :)

    John and John H.

    I struggled for years with articulation during early morning prayer time. I started a prayer journal a couple of years ago. I don't do it like many do with writing down specific prayer requests with answers. Instead, I write down what I'm praying--word for word. It makes a huge difference. I can fill page after page with praise, thanksgiving, intercession and requests. However, most of time I end up with a long paragraph. I usually end with some audible praying then follow that up with some devotional reading. I read through the Bible every year and that helps as well.

    What I have learned through this though is that I can never pray enough nor spend enough time with my Lord. I always feel as if I am falling short somehow. That prayer time is sweet though.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    Great comments on the subject of prayer. I am sure all of us can identify with the things said here.

    Oh and John H. - did you know there's a scripture to stand on for when you are drinking coffee?

    Yes.. Mark 16:18 says, "if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them."


    Mr. Ratliff,

    There is a great resource that has helped me a lot in prayer. It is the book "Valley of Vision." It is a collection of powerful Puritan prayers. I know Ligonier sells it - Monergism may as well...

    God be with you,

    A. Shepherd
    Aspiring Theologian

    The Aspiring Theologian Blog: A Young Theologian's Blog

    Thank you A. Shepherd!

    Is this quote from one of DMLJ's books?

    May we use the article How's Your Prayer Life? by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones in our church newsletter.
    Southern Cross Evangelical Church
    Portslade BN41 1GU

    Steve Packham [Minister]

    For those who don’t know, Martin Lloyd Jones sermons are free at, over 1600 sermons. I’ve listened to hundreds. Most mornings include him.

    Here is my favorite mlj quote,
    “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”

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