LTRP Note: As we witness the distressing events happening all around us, let those who name the name of Jesus Christ and put their trust in Him pray that God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ would go forth, that hearts would be softened, and that many would turn their lives over to the Lord in humility, faith, and truth. The Bible says that God is “longsuffering” and does not want any to “perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Repentance means changing direction – turning around and turning toward God. May many do that in this country and around the world.
The following piece by Warren B. Smith is a reminder of the importance of prayer.
“Praying Through It All“
By Warren B. Smith
Prayer was appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give;
Long as they live should Christians pray;
For only when they pray they live.
And shall we in dead silence lie,
When Christ stands waiting for our prayer?
My soul, thou hast a Friend on high;
Arise and try thy interest there.
If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress;
If cares distract, or fears dismay;
If guilt deject, if sin distress;
The remedy’s before thee—Pray!
Depend on Christ, thou canst not fail;
Make all thy wants and wishes known.
Fear not; His merits must prevail;
Ask what thou wilt; it shall be done!1
E. M. Bounds (1835-1913) authored a number of classic books on prayer. A former attorney who became a preacher, editor, author, and intercessory prayer warrior, Bounds reputedly arose at four each morning and prayed for three hours. In his book The Necessity of Prayer, Bounds wrote:
God’s Word is a record of prayer—of praying men and their achievements, of the Divine warrant of prayer and of the encouragement given to those who pray.2
He described the urgency of prayer as:
. . . a mighty movement of the soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul, toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength of grasp are all embraced in it. It is not an incident, or a performance, but a passion of soul. It is not a want, half-needed, but a sheer necessity.3
He further wrote:
Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer. It is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christian people are prayerful, the worldly-minded, prayerless. Christians call on God; worldlings ignore God, and call not on His Name. But even the Christian had need to cultivate continual prayer. Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit. It is duty, yet one which rises far above, and goes beyond the ordinary implications of the term. It is the expression of a relation to God, a yearning for Divine communion.4
Jesus Our Mediator
Scripture tells us Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5) and that we are to take everything to God through Him in prayer. He is our Lord, our Savior, and our Friend.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised—
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing,
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
—Joseph M. Scriven (1855)
Pray to God
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:2-3)
Pray God’s Will Be Done
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15)
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)
Pray in Jesus Name
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)
Pray and Abide in Jesus
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
Watch and Pray
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36)
Pray in the Morning
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalm 5:1-3)
Pray Morning, Noon, and Evening
As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry a loud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:16-17)
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. (Romans 12:9-12)
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. (Luke 18:1)
Pray with Striving
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)
Pray with Faith
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:21-22)
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. (Ephesians 3:11-12)
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
Pray and Sing Praises
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)
Pray With Thanksgiving
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
Pray for One Another
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. (James 5:16)
Pray for Your Enemies
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:44-46)
Pray For All Men
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Pray in Your Closet
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:5-6)
Pray Without Repetition
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8)
Pray With Forgiveness
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26)
Pray For Forgiveness
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
Pray With Crying and Strong Tears
So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. (Hebrews 5:5-9)
Pray Being Righteous
The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1 Peter 3:12)
Pray Being Upright
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. (Proverbs 15:8)
Pray for Wisdom
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (James 1:5-7)
Pray the Lord’s Prayer
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
Pray and Fast
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. (Luke 5:33-35)
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:19-21)
Pray to be Kept from Enemy Devices
Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. (Psalm 141:9)
Pray for Deliverance from Persecution
My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. (Psalm 31:15-16)
O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. (Psalm 7:1)
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. (Psalm 142:6)
Pray With the Holy Spirit Interceding
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)
Pray With All Perseverance and Supplication in the Spirit
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:18)
Pray For Laborers
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:36-38)
And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. (Isaiah 59:14-16)
Pray for Doors of Opportunity
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds. That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:3-4)
Pray That God’s Word Has Free Course
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
Pray Not to be Prideful
Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. (Psalm 36:11)
Pray to be Proven
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Pray for Help
Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy. (Psalm 109:26)
O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14)
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 60:11)
Pray For Mercy
Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble, (Psalm 31:9)
Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. (Psalm 25:16-17)
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. (Psalm 30:10)
Pray That We Recognize Our Frailty and Vanity
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. (Psalm 39:4-5)
Pray Concerning Unbelief
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24)
Pray to Be Saved
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Pray to be Led by the Lord
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. (Psalm 31:3)
Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. (Psalm 27:11)
O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psalm 43:3)
Pray God Would Order Your Steps
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psalm 119:133)
Pray for Strength Through God’s Word
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:28)
Pray to be Quickened Through God’s Word
Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. (Psalm 143:11)
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:107)
Pray For Cleansing
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (Psalm 51:1-3)
Pray For a Right Spirit
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:10-13)
Pray for Acceptability
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Pray for Jerusalem
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)
Pray For God’s Peace
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Prayer for the Church
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
The article above is also in booklet format. If you would like to order copies to share with others, click here. You may also freely print a copy from this blog to share with someone. To learn more about Warren Smith, you may visit his website.
1. D. L. Moody, Prevailing Prayer: What Hinders It (Chicago, IL: F.H. Revell, 1884), p. 5.
2. E. M. Bounds, The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990), p. 66.
3. Ibid., p. 39.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)