I have just finished reading Alexander Whyte's Lord Teach Us To Pray. It is a good read but the book requires careful reading. The author has a tendency to lose sight of the biblical SATNAV. So here are four helpful reminders I picked up from the book about prayer.
1. Pray continuously - when we pray to God to give us things many of us have a tendency to stop. Whyte borrowing from Rutherford cautious us, "even as we got those good things by prayer at first, so we have to hold them by prayer to the end".
2. Praying effectively requires time - we need to set aside plenty of time for prayer not because God needs our time. We need time to prepare our hearts to seek God. Whyte says, "without a liberal allowance of time, no man has ever attained to a real life of prayer at all".
3. Reading the gospels imaginatively enriches our prayers - Whyte believes that as we read the Bible we should try and visualise the events described before us. He says, "I demand of you-never, now, all the days and nights that are left to you-never open your New Testament till you have offered this prayer to God the Holy Ghost: "Open Thou mine eyes!"
4. Sin and prayer do not go together - Whyte helpfully reminds us that, "all prayer, from the lowest kind to the highest, is impossible in a life of known and allowed sin...sin and prayer cannot both live at the same time in the same heart. Admit sin, and you banish prayer". The good news is that, if we "entertain, and encourage, and practise prayer, and sin will sooner or later flee before it".
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2018