What We Believe

June 2021 New Horizons

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Prayer: Our Highest Privilege

Learning to Pray in Secret

Leading in Public Prayer

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Prayer: Our Highest Privilege

It was several years ago now that the Lord graciously brought to me a season of refreshment in my prayer life. In his kind providence, he brought to me this particular prompting, or “wake-up call,” as I was reading excerpts from a spiritual classic: Adolphe Monod’s Les Adieux (Farewells). Adolphe Monod was a French Reformed pastor and one of the greatest French preachers of the nineteenth century. Struck with cancer at age fifty-three, he went to be with the Lord about a year later. While in declining health, surrounded by family and friends, Monod presented from his sickbed a meditation on each of the last twenty-five days of our Lord’s life. His family carefully kept record of these devotional talks. Monod’s dying testimony is most inspiring and instructive. Monod on Prayer One of Monod’s regrets was that he had not prayed as he should. He put it this way: My dear friends in Christ, among the subjects about which a Christian who believes himself to be near his end carries ... Read more

Learning to Pray in Secret

Jesus is our God and Lord and King. He is also our Savior, our brother, and our friend. He is with us, and we are with him, every moment of every day. There is not a need that he does not know or a tear that he does not see. We are to have humility and reverence before him whose is the kingdom and the power and the glory—absolutely. But he also invites us to call God our Father. He lives to pray for us (Heb. 7:25) as he sits at the right hand of the Father, and he tells us that we should pray to him without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). When praying in secret, we need to remember all that we have been taught about prayer, but, most of all, we need to just talk to God. We need to know that we can pour out our hearts to him. We need to remember that he is our best friend and only hope and that we can tell him everything and anything. Yes, he already knows it, but we can say it anyway. We can say it because he hears and listens to us for the sake of Jesus. We may be ceaselessly calling, texting, and posting ... Read more

Leading in Public Prayer

If we are honest, most of us would have to admit that the public prayers of our church are often endured rather than enjoyed. The various prayers we hear week by week can be the low points in our public services. Whereas sermons are well-ordered, well-expressed, and delivered with urgency, the prayers are often the opposite: disordered, poorly phrased, carelessly arranged, trite, predictable, and surprisingly limited in range, neglecting whole categories of concern. The sermon may be compelling; the prayers are not. The sermon may be fervent; the prayers are in monotone and tedious. Public prayer today is in a sorry condition. What can be done? Let me offer several suggestions that may help us first to think correctly about public prayer and then to start delivering those prayers in a way that will edify the congregation. Public Speech Public prayer needs to be understood by the minister of the church as a form of public speech. Like the sermon, it is meant to edify the congregation. A ... Read more


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