by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The porches of Prayer
I know a number of Christian people who have a universal answer to all questions. It does not matter what the question is; they always say, "Pray about it." ... What a glib, superficial, and false bit of advice that can often be; and I am saying that from a Christian pulpit.
You may ask, "Is it ever wrong to tell men to make their problems a matter of prayer?" It is never wrong, but it is sometimes quite futile.... The whole trouble with this poor man [Psalm 73] ... was that he was so muddled in his thinking about God that he could not pray to Him. If we have muddled thoughts in our mind and heart concerning God's way with respect to us, how can we pray? We cannot. Before we can pray truly, we must think spiritually. There is nothing more fatuous than glib talk about prayer, as if prayer were something which you can always immediately rush into.
... Let me quote one of the greatest men of prayer the world has ever known; ... George Miller, in lecturing to ministers, ... told them this. He said that for many years the first thing he did every morning of his life was to pray. He had now long since discovered that this was not the best way. He had found that in order to pray truly and spiritually, he had to be in the Spirit himself and that he must prepare himself first.
He had discovered that it was good and most helpful, and he now strongly recommended it to them, always to read a portion of Scripture and perhaps some devotional book before they began to pray. In other words, he found it was necessary to put himself and his spirit right before he could truly pray to God....
We must take time with prayer. We do not begin to pray to God until we realize His presence.... So the steps are perfectly right—the house of God, the Word of God, prayer to God, and communion with God.
Faith on Trial, pp. 41-2
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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