“Tell me what a man’s prayers are and I will soon tell you the state of his soul. Prayer is the spiritual pulse. By this the spiritual health may be tested.” (J. C. Ryle, A Call to Prayer.)
If Ryle is right (and I think he is), that is a sobering and convicting truth. When was the last time you took your spiritual pulse? What does your prayer life tell you about the spiritual health of your soul?
J. I. Packer makes a similar claim.
“Prayer is the measure of a man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is.” (J. I. Packer, My Path of Prayer)
Reflecting on this, Jonathan Leeman (author, seminary professor, and elder in his local church) adds:
“J. I. Packer is surely right… Our prayers reveal what our hearts want. They reveal how we regard God, His glory, and His power. And they reveal the quality and measure of our faith – do we pray often and carefully, or not much at all?” (Jonathan Leeman, Word-Centered Church: How Scripture Brings Life and Growth to God’s People.)
I don’t think I’m alone in admitting my prayer life has a long way to grow. Good news. Jesus is eager to help us grow. In our passage this week, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. He does them one better. Not only does he teach them how to pray but he encourages them to pray with boldness and great expectation with two parables that magnify the gracious goodness of our Heavenly Father to whom we pray.
Take a moment this week to slowly read Luke 11:1-13 in preparation for our gathered worship.
This Sunday Eric Twisselmann will be preaching and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And let’s ask the Lord both to teach us and to encourage us to pray.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Run to the Father by Matt Maher
My heart needs a surgeon
My soul needs a friend
So I’ll run to the Father
Again and again
And again and again