Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Book 16: Handle with Prayer

I never thought I would like e-Readers, but I don't think I would get any reading accomplished without mine.

I just finished Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley. I will be the first to admit that at times my prayers seem stale. Often my prayers become mundane and I find myself drifting in my thoughts. I make it a point to be thankful every day, but I don't think I do a good job of praying purposefully. I thought this book provided some useful instruction on how to pray and how to think about prayer. 

Excerpts from the book:

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. —Jeremiah 33:1–3

...not one shred of scriptural evidence shows that God will say yes to all of our prayers just because we’re living right. God is sovereign. He has the right to say no according to His infinite wisdom, regardless of our goodness.

...attempts to manipulate God defeat the whole purpose of Christianity..

God is more interested in our character, our future, and our sanctification than He is in our momentary satisfaction. His answers are always an act of grace, motivated by His love. 
...we often pray burdenless prayers. We repeat the same old requests over and over, but with no heart or sense of urgency.
Only when we stop everything and become quiet do we give God the chance to tell us what He is burdening us about.

People who are hurting need to know they are being prayed for. 

...it is foolish for us to complain when God doesn’t answer certain prayers. Since His decisions are in our best interests, we should never try to talk Him into giving us what He has already said we cannot have.

Feelings and circumstances change, but God never changes.

If we are not careful, God becomes a means to an end. But God desires to be the end; it is His desire that we seek Him and Him alone.  

God will allow certain difficulties to surround us, but always with our best interests at heart. When we become critical of our circumstances, we become critical of God. And when we become critical of Him, we are putting more faith in our wisdom than in His.  

None of these prayers are to be based on personal likes or dislikes, but rather on our desire for peace and godliness for all mankind.

We pray vague prayers with no specific blessings in mind.

...too often, people will give us advice for our spiritual battles, but they won’t give of their time in prayer.

When the church of Jesus Christ was born, it was born in the midst of the heathen empire of Rome. Two thousand years later in America, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is again in the midst of a heathen empire. It is a capitalistic empire that is anti-God; it is a system whose god is humanism. Its philosophy declares that man is sufficient within himself to meet his own needs. The church is surrounded by a system that denies there is a God. Man is his own god. 

...if we don’t enter into the warfare of prayer, we will never fulfill God’s plan for our lives. If we don’t pray, we serve no purpose in God’s framework of eternity.

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