Blog Posts on Prayer

What Happens When We Pray?

Jonathan Parnell
What Happens When We Pray?

Do we really know what's going on when we pray? When we bow our heads at the dinner table? When we whisper quietly during our morning commute? Or when, like dragging our feet along a well-worn path, we ask again for God to do what he hasn't yet? Do we know what's happening?

The Bible tells us inRevelation 8:1–5.

Here's the picture: The seventh seal — the last page in the scroll of history — has been opened. And there is silence. Seven angels stand before God and each are given seven... Continue Reading

A Prayer for What I Need Most

Jon Bloom

O gracious God, Father of the Lord Jesus,

Through your Son’s words I hear you ask me “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41). This is my answer: I want Ephesians 3:16–19.

I want you to “strengthen me with power through [your] Spirit in [my] inner being” (verse 16). I need your power more than I need prosperity or popularity or peace in my family because I am so weak.

I need more power because I long for more of Jesus to “dwell in my heart through faith” (verse 17). I... Continue Reading

How Summertime Helps Us Pray

Jonathan Parnell
How Summertime Helps Us Pray

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional welcome into summer. Long days, outside reading, baseball, iced tea, sunshine — 'tis the season of unparalleled displays of God's common benevolence.

And it's also full of exciting opportunities for us to grow in the grace of prayer.

God's grace is immeasurable, not seasonal (Ephesians 2:7). There's not more of him now than in January, but summer tends to open our eyes a little wider. We can see a little clearer. And this helps how we... Continue Reading

God Wants You to Complain

Jon Bloom

Psalm 142:1–2,

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.”

To live in this age is to frequently experience trouble. We are troubled within and we are troubled without. Our troubles span the spectrum of trivial to traumatic. And these various kinds of troubles — James calls them trials (James 1:2) — are to be expected. We are not to be surprised by them (1 Peter 4:12).

And to help... Continue Reading

The Glory of God's Sustaining Grace When Our Prayers Aren't Answered

John Knight

It doesn't happen often, but it does happen — people see my son Paul and ask if they can pray for him.

At places like WalMart (where it has happened) I usually accept their offer after quietly and quickly assessing their motives and authenticity. And people are usually appropriate.

But a scenario occurred recently where I struggled to respond graciously. The Holy Spirit helped me in that moment as I could feel my pride being challenged. Here’... Continue Reading

Pray with Your Books Closed

Jonathan Parnell

We shouldn't open our books without praying, but we'd better pray without opened books.

I think B. B. Warfield would give a thumbs up here. In his salty essay, "The Religious Life of Theological Students," Warfield explains that study should be devotional. He says that study itself is a "religious exercise of the most rewarding kind." And while this is all true, he doesn't stop here. He goes on to say there are other religious exercises that demand our "punctual attention." There... Continue Reading

Inspired to Pray in 2012

John Piper
Inspired to Pray in 2012

If you want to be inspired to pray in 2012 and don’t have time for a long book, Here is a short one.

Probably no book has had a greater effect on my prayer life in proportion to its size than E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer. It was the seed from which grew the tree, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.

The preacher . .. is not a professional man; his ministry is not a profession; it is a divine institution, a divine devotion. (Location 55)

His passion is perhaps best expressed in... Continue Reading

Why Some Prayers Fail

Josh Etter
Why Some Prayers Fail

Charles Spurgeon:

Many prayers fail of their errand because there is no faith in them. Prayers which are filled with doubt are requests for refusal. Imagine that you wrote to a friend and said, “Dear Friend, I am in great trouble and I, therefore, tell you, and ask for your help because it seems right to do so. But though I thus write, I have no belief that you will send me any help. Indeed, I should be mightily surprised if you did and should speak of it as a great wonder.”

Will you... Continue Reading