Quotes from The Kneeling Christian

  • It is not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life— all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God— depend upon the practice of secret prayer.
  • Every one of us would confess that we believe in prayer, yet how many of us truly believe in the power of, prayer?
  • Why are many Christians so often defeated? Because they pray so little. Why are many church-workers so often discouraged and disheartened? Because they pray so little.
  • Why do most men see so few brought “out of darkness to light” by their ministry? Because they pray so little.
  • Why are not our churches simply on fire for God? Because there is so little real prayer.
  • We may be assured of this—the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer.
  • Surely there is nothing so absolutely astonishing as a practically prayerless Christian.
  • We are never so high as when we are on our knees.
  • Has it ever occurred to you that our Lord never gave an unnecessary or an optional command?
  • In fact, it can easily be shown that all want of success, and all failure in the spiritual life and in Christian work, is due to defective or insufficient prayer. Unless we pray aright we cannot live aright or serve aright.
  • Do we realize that there is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer? His great concern is to keep us from praying. He loves to see us “up to our eyes” in work—provided we do not pray. He does not fear because we are eager and earnest Bible students—provided we are little in prayer. Someone has wisely said, “Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”
  • “WHEN we stand with Christ in glory, looking o’er life’s finished story,” the most amazing feature of that life as it is looked back upon will be its prayerlessness.
  • If our prayers are not answered—always answered, but not necessarily granted—the fault must be entirely in ourselves, and not in God. God delights to answer prayer; and He has given us His word that He will answer.
  • If God were to answer the words we repeated on our knees this morning should we know it? Should we recognize the answer? Do we even remember what we asked for? He does answer. He has given us His word for it. He always answers every real prayer of faith.
  • “How often do you pray?” was the question put to a Christian woman. “Three times a day, and all the day beside,” was the quick reply. But how many are there like that? Is prayer to me just a duty, or is it a privilege—a pleasure—a real joy—a necessity?
  • Why, the wonder is not that we pray so little, but that we can ever get up from our knees if we realize our own need; the needs of our home and our loved ones; the needs of our pastor and the Church; the needs of our city—of our country—of the heathen and Mohammedan world!
  • All Revivals have been the outcome of prayer.
  • No man dare prescribe for another how long a time he ought to spend in prayer, nor do we suggest that men should make a vow to pray so many minutes or hours a day. Of course, the Bible command is to “Pray without ceasing.” This is evidently the “attitude of prayer”—the attitude of one’s life.
  • But we must bear in mind that mere resolutions to take more time for prayer, and to conquer reluctance to pray, will not prove lastingly effective unless there is a wholehearted and absolute surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • A preacher who prays little may see some results of his labors, but if he does it will be because someone, somewhere is praying for him. The “fruit” is the pray-er’s—not the preacher’s
  • Every convert is the result of the Holy Spirit’s pleading in answer to the prayers of some believer.
  • A lady in India was cast down through the failure of her life and work. She was a devoted missionary, but somehow or other conversions never resulted from her ministry. The Holy Spirit seemed to say to her, “Pray more.” But she resisted the promptings of the Spirit for some time. “At length,” said she, “I set apart much of my time for prayer. I did it in fear and trembling lest my fellow-workers should complain that I was shirking my work. After a few weeks I began to see men and women accepting Christ as their Savior. Moreover, the whole district was soon awakened, and the work of all the other missionaries was blessed as never before. God did more in six months than I had succeeded in doing in six years. And,” she added, “no one ever accused me of shirking my duty.” Another lady missionary in India felt the same call to pray. She began to give much time to prayer. No opposition came from without, but it did come from within. But she persisted, and in two years the baptized converts increased sixfold!
  • A few years ago, when in India, I had the great joy of seeing something of Pandita Ramabai’s work. She had a boarding-school of 1,500 Hindu girls. One day some of these girls came with their Bibles and asked a lady missionary what St. Luke xii. 49 meant—“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what will I, if it is already kindled?” The missionary tried to put them off with an evasive answer, not being very sure herself what those words meant. But they were not satisfied, so they determined to pray for this fire. And as they prayed—and because they prayed—the very fire of heaven came into their souls. A very Pentecost from above was granted them. No wonder they continued to pray!
  • A party of these girls upon whom God had poured the “Spirit of supplication” came to a mission house where I spent some weeks. “May we stay here in your town and pray for your work?” they asked. The missionary did not entertain the idea with any great enthusiasm. He felt that they ought to be at school, and not “gadding about” the country. But they only asked for a hall or barn where they could pray; and we all value prayers on our behalf. So their request was granted, and the good man sat down to his evening meal, thinking. As the evening wore on, a native pastor came round. He broke down completely. He explained, with tears running down his face, that God’s Holy Spirit had convicted him of sin, and that he felt compelled to come and openly confess his wrongdoing. He was quickly followed by one Christian after another, all under deep conviction of sin. There was a remarkable time of blessing. Back-sliders were restored, believers were sanctified, and heathen brought into the fold—all because a few mere children were praying.
  • Whilst some of these girls were at Rawal Pindi, a lady missionary, looking out of her tent towards midnight, was surprised to see a light burning in one of the girls’ tents—a thing quite contrary to rules. She went to expostulate, but found the youngest of those ten girls—a child of fifteen—kneeling in the farthest corner of the tent, holding a little tallow candle in one hand and a list of names for intercession in the other. She had 500 names on her list—500 out of the 1,500 girls in Pandita Ramabai’s school. Hour after hour she was naming them before God. No wonder God’s blessing fell wherever those girls went, and upon whomsoever those girls prayed for.
  • Pastor Ding Li Mei, of China, has the names of 1,100 students on his prayer-list. Many hundreds have been won to Christ through his prayers. And so out-and-out are his converts that many scores of them have entered the Christian ministry.
  • Prayer is the touchstone of true godliness.
  • Answers to prayer, however, do not depend upon our feelings, but upon the trustworthiness of the Promiser.
  • But our eye must be “single” if our faith is to be simple and our “whole body full of light” (Matt. vi. 22).
  • What do we mean by prayer? I believe the vast majority of Christians would say, “Prayer is asking things from God.” But surely prayer is much more than merely “getting God to run our errands for us,” as someone puts it. It is a higher thing than the beggar knocking at the rich man’s door.
  • Real prayer at its highest and best reveals a soul athirst for God—just for God alone.
  • As we lift up our soul in prayer to the living God, we gain the beauty of holiness as surely as a flower becomes beautiful by living in the sunlight.
  • What is prayer? It is a sign of spiritual life. I should as soon expect life in a dead man as spiritual life in a prayerless soul!
  • A wrong prayer cannot be made right by the addition of some mystic phrase!
  • And a right prayer does not fail if some such words are omitted.
  • When I go to heaven’s bank in the name of the Lord Jesus, with a check drawn upon the unsearchable riches of Christ, God demands that I shall be a worthy recipient. Not “worthy” in the sense that I can merit or deserve anything from a holy God—but worthy in the sense that I am seeking the gift not for my own glory or self-interest, but only for the glory of God.
  • It is only when whatsoever we do is done in His name that He will do whatsoever we ask in His name.
  • PRAYER is measured, not by time, but by intensity.
  • Prayer is not given us as a burden to be borne, or an irksome duty to fulfil, but to be a joy and power to which there is no limit.
  • The very word used for “striving” in prayer means “a contest.” The contest is not between God and ourselves. He is at one with us in our desires. The contest is with the evil one, although he is a conquered foe (I John iii. 8). He desires to thwart our prayers.
  • God’s answer is sometimes “No.”
  • God’s answer is sometimes “Wait.”
  • God’s delays are not denials.
  • Do not stop to ask the writer if God has granted all his prayers. He has not. To have said “Yes” to some of them would have spelt curse instead of blessing. To have answered others was, alas! a spiritual impossibility—he was not worthy of the gifts he sought. The granting, of some of them would but have fostered spiritual pride and self-satisfaction. How plain all these things seem now, in the fuller light of God’s Holy Spirit!
  • God never bestows tomorrow’s gift today.
  • God is greater than His promises, and often gives more than either we desire or deserve—but He does not always do so.
  • Remember that it was impossible for Christ to offer up any prayer which was not granted. He was God—He knew the mind of God—He had the mind of the Holy Spirit.
  • We must remember that we may be filled with the Spirit and yet err in judgment or desire.
  • God cannot do some things unless we work. He stores the hills with marble, but He has never built a cathedral. He fills the mountains with iron ore, but He never makes a needle or a locomotive. He leaves that to us. We must work.
  • Even in our private prayers fault-finding of others must be resolutely avoided. Read once more the story of John Hyde praying for the “cold brother.” Believe me, a criticising spirit destroys holiness of life more easily than anything else, because it is such an eminently respectable sin, and makes such easy victims of us.
  • Praying only in secret may be a hindrance. Children of a family should not always meet their father separately. It is remarkable how often our Lord refers to united prayer—“agreed” prayer.
  • Do we not make a mistake in supposing that some people have a “gift” of prayer?

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