A Prayer for Those Battling Sin

This is a prayer based on John Owens work The Mortification of Sin and was written by Kevin Halloran.  The original post can be found here.

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

I come to you a needy and contrite sinner,
with no power on my own to put to death the deeds of the body.

Daily come to my aid making it my business
to mortify the indwelling power of sin in my life.

May I never attempt to mortify in my own strength,
forgetting that without Your Spirit my efforts will be in vain.

Lord, through Your Spirit help me put to death
the subtle and crafty strength of the enemy.

As I wake each day, give me strength to remember my task of killing sin,
and remember that sin will kill me if I do not kill it.

Keep me from ever letting up in my battle with sin,
knowing constantly that sin will take advantage.

Help my heart abound in grace that flows from your Spirit,
and destroy in my heart the consuming lust for sin.

Give me a life characterized by the mortification of sin,
and give me life, vigor and comfort
for my life and for that battle.

Lord, each day remind me to strive after total obedience,
and so weaken the power of sin upon my life.

Aid me to know the methods and occasions for sin’s success,
and to fight and contend constantly for holiness.

May I constantly be aware of the guilt, danger, and evil of sin,
knowing that without you, I fall into a seared conscience,
hardness of heart, and deception of my soul.

Lord grant that your holy law is always upon my mind,
so that it may guide me and cause me to fear you.

By the graces of Your Spirit,
implant humility to weaken pride,
purity of mind to cleanse uncleanness,
heavenly-mindedness to counter a love for this world.

May Your Spirit,
cause my heart to abound in grace and the fruits that are contrary to the flesh,
consume and expose the root of my sin,
bring the cross of Christ into my heart through faith.

For it is only by gazing at the grace displayed on the cross of Christ
that I will be able experience its sin killing power.

I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ that is above every name,
AMEN.

Prayer – Part 2

In this second installment of Pink’s book Gleanings From Paul:  A Study of the Prayers of the Apostle, Pink takes us to Paul’s prayer in the first chapter of Romans.  I have read Romans multiple times but never really considered this a prayer, but after reading the following I do believe it is.  What I found amazing, and again I have read Romans multiple times in just the last year, is Paul’s calling out to “My God.”  As Pink brings out, there is a sense of Paul’s certainty in God, in his intimacy with God.  I have overlooked that many times in my life. 

Well, what I really mean to say is that I seem to easily forget how intimately we can have fellowship with God.  How many times have I started to pray and in my mind, God is just some impersonal being “out there” that I am praying too.  That is a sad indictment against me and I realize that I have to repent and make a concerted effort to realize that the God I am praying too is “My God” just like He was Paul’s “God.”  In Zechariah 1:3 God declares, “Return to me that I may return to you,” (NASB).  That is a very emphatic statement, and one that we would do well to remember and to practice.  If we turn to God in repentence for our sins, it’s as if He cannot help but come near and cleanse us, soothe us and comfort us.

Gleanings From Paul

 1. Prayer and Praise

 Romans 1:8-12

As For Paul’s Prayers we shall not take them up in their chronological order but according as they are found in his epistles in our present-day Bible. The Thessalonian epistles were written before the Roman letter, but as the book of Romans, because of its theme and importance, rightly comes first, we shall begin with Paul’s prayers recorded therein. Opinion is divided as to whether the verses before us chronicle a particular prayer actually offered by Paul at that time, or whether he is here informing them how he was wont to remember them at the throne of grace. It appears to us the distinction is such a fine one that it makes little practical difference which view be adopted. Personally we incline to the former concept. This epistle was taken down by an amanuensis (Rom. 16:22), and as the apostle dictated the words “to all that be in Rome, beloved of God” (Rom. 1:7), his heart was immediately drawn out in thanksgiving that some of God’s elect were to be found even in the capital of the Roman Empire, yea, in “Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22).

Paul’s Affection for the Saints at Rome

The position of Paul was somewhat delicate, as he was a stranger to the saints at Rome. No doubt they had often heard of him——at first as a dangerous person. When assured of his conversion, and learning that he was an apostle to the Gentiles, they probably wondered why he had not visited them, especially when he had been as near Rome as Corinth. So he made known his deep personal interest in them. They were continually upon his heart and in all his prayers. How his “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Rom. l:8a) would draw out their affections to the writer of this epistle! How it would move them to read with warmer interest what he had sent to them! Nothing more Continue reading

Prayer – Part 1

I have been extremely convicted lately in the area of prayer.  I do pray as a matter of devotion most mornings, but I am not happy with it.  I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel the way I do, but I have decided to read A. W. Pink’s book Gleanings From Paul:  A Study of the Prayers of the Apostle.  This book is in the public domain and is freely available at several locations, but I will be posting chapters here regularly over the next few weeks if you want to read along with me.  I hope you will find this as challenging to your prayer life as I am.  In the introduction, Pink makes some startling observations that I have never seen before when reading the Bible.  Which goes to show that we need to read carefully, thoughtfully, slowly, and most of all, prayerfully!

Gleanings From Paul

Introduction 

Much Has Been Written upon what is usually called “The Lord’’s Prayer” but which we prefer to term “The Family Prayer,” and much upon the high priestly prayer of Christ in John 17, but very little upon the prayers of the apostles. Personally we know of no book devoted to the same, and except for a booklet on the two prayers of Ephesians 1 and 3 we have seen scarcely anything thereon. It is not easy to explain this omission, for one would think the apostolic prayers had such importance and value for us that they would attract the attention of those who wrote on devotional subjects. While we very much deprecate the efforts of those who would have us believe the prayers of the Old Testament are obsolete and unfitted for the saints of this dispensation, yet it seems evident that the prayers recorded in the epistles are peculiarly suited to Christians. Excepting only the prayers of the Redeemer, in the epistle prayers alone are the praises and petitions specifically addressed to “the Father,” in them alone are they offered in the name of the Mediator, and in them alone do we find the full breathings of the Spirit of adoption.

How blessed it is to hear some aged saint, who has long walked with God and enjoyed intimate communion with Him, pouring out his heart before Him in adoration and supplication. But how much more blessed should we esteem it could we have listened to the utterances of those who accompanied Continue reading

Valley of Vision Prayers

This morning in my devotions, this is the prayer I read from the book The Valley of Vision.  I especially liked the last sentence and asked God to help me accept that.

Heart Corruptions

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man’s-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Prayer

Sam Storms writes:

Jonathan Edwards saw a direct cause and effect relationship between the faithful and fervent prayers of God’s people and the authenticity of heaven-sent revival.

“When God has something very great to accomplish for his church, ’tis his will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of his people; as is manifest byEzek. 36:37, ‘I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them’; . . . And ’tis revealed that when God is about to accomplish great things for his church, he will begin by remarkably pouring out ‘the spirit of grace and supplication,’ Zech. 12:10” (Some Thoughts, 516).

Again,

“When God is about to bestow some great blessing on his church, it is often his manner, in the first place, so to order things in his providence as to shew [sic] his church their great need of it, and to bring ‘em into distress for want of it, and so put ‘em upon crying earnestly to him for it” (517).
So just how important is prayer in the lives of those who long for revival?

“There is no way that Christians in a private capacity can do so much to promote the work of God, and advance the kingdom of Christ, as by prayer. By this even women, children and servants may have a public influence. Let persons be never so weak, and never so mean, and under never so poor advantages to do much for Christ and the souls of men otherwise; yet, if they have much of the spirit of grace and supplication, in this way they may have power with him that is infinite in power, and has the government of the whole world: and so a poor man in his cottage may have a blessed influence all over the world. God is, if I may so say, at the command of the prayer of faith; and in this respect is, as it were, under the power of his people; as princes, they have power with God, and prevail [cf. Gen. 32:28]. Though they may be private persons their prayers are put up in the name of a Mediator, that is a public person, being the Head of the whole church and the Lord of the universe: and if they have a great sense of the importance of eternal things and concern for the precious souls of men, yet they need not regret it that they are not preachers; they may go in their earnestness and agonies of soul, and pour out their souls before One that is able to do all things; before him they may speak as freely as ministers; they have a great High Priest, through whom they may come boldly at all times [Heb. 4:14-16], and may vent themselves before a prayer-hearing Father, without any restraint.” (518)

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Don’t Undersell Your Commute

Here is a blog post by Jonathan Parnell who works with the Desiring God organization.  I read it with much interest because 3 years ago I started dedicating the 2 hours I spend on the road getting to and from work to time in prayer, study, and meditation upon God.  Technology makes it so easy to download a podcast from one of many good expositors of the Word and listen during your commute.  You can download many different versions of the Word of God, ESV is my favorite, and listen to almost all of the New Testament Epistles at one time which is the way they were read to the church’s they were intended for.  I have not had visions of rapture during every trip, but quite often it is a glorious time of learning something new about my Lord. 

If you have a commute, and hopefully it isn’t as long as mine, I highly recommend that you spend your time in this endeavor rather than wasting it listening to talk radio, classic rock, or country music.  All of those will pass away but the Word of God will last forever.  You will grow in the grace and knowledge of God and find that it was time well spent.

Valley of Vision Prayers

Choices

O God,

Though I am allowed to approach thee

I am not unmindful of my sins,

I do not deny my guilt,

I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness.

May I with Moses choose affliction

Rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.

Help me to place myself always under thy guiding and guardian care,

To take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to thee,

To feel fore of the purifying, dignifying,

Softening influence of the religion I profess,

To have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy,

To deem it an honour to be employed by thee

As an instrument in thy hands,

Ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness,

And willing to offer all my talents to they service.

Thou hast done for me all things well,

Hast remembered, distinguished, indulged me.

All my desires have not been gratified,

But thy love denied them to me

When fulfillment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.

My trials have been fewer than my sins,

And when I have kissed the rod it has fallen from thy hands.

Thou hast often wiped away my tears,

Restored peace to my mourning heart,

Chastened me for my profit.

All thy work for me is perfect,

And I praise thee.