How to Have a Prayer Life That You and God Both Love for Do You Pray Series

How to Have A Prayer Life That You and God Both Love

Your prayer life: has it changed through reading this Series?  Do you think differently about prayer?  Do you feel a yearning, burning desire for an intimacy with the Lord through prayer that you didn’t feel before?  I pray God is at work in you and has used this Series in some way.

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In our morning devotional time as a family, my husband, Jerry, challenged us by reading from J. C. Ryle’s, “Do You Pray?” a number of years ago. Since then, I have read it over, again and again. It never loses its power to impact my spiritual life and set it on fire! I pray it will do the same for you!

This is the next to last week in which, every Tuesday and Thursday, I am posting an excerpt from this work, entitled “Do You Pray?” by J. C. Ryle.

Read all the posts in this Series, “Do You Pray” by J. C. Ryle:

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“How to Have a Prayer Life That You and God Both Love.” A Series on Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life: Now, Here is Part 9, of “Do You Pray?”

by J. C. Ryle

Your Prayer Life Must Be Thoughtful of God

“Let me speak, lastly, to those who do pray.  I trust that some who read this tract know well what prayer is, and have the Spirit of adoption.  To all such, I offer a few words of brotherly counsel and exhortation.  The incense offered in the tabernacle was ordered to be made in a particular way.  Not every kind of incense would do.  Let us remember this and be careful about the matter and manner of our prayers.

Brethren who pray, if I know anything of a Christian’s heart, you are often sick of your own prayers.  You never enter into the apostle’s words, “When I would do good, evil is present with me,” so thoroughly as you sometimes do upon your knees.”

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Your Prayer Life Is Under Attack

“You can understand David’s words, ‘I hate vain thoughts.’  You can sympathize with that poor converted Hottentot who was overheard praying, ‘Lord, deliver me from all my enemies, and above all, from that bad man–myself.’

There are few children of God who do not often find the season of prayer a season of conflict.  The devil has special wrath against us when he sees us on our knees.”

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A Prayer Life Must Cost You Something

“Yet, I believe that prayers which cost us no trouble should be regarded with great suspicion.  I believe we are very poor judges of the goodness of our prayers, and that the prayer which pleases us least, often pleases God most.

Suffer me then, as a companion in the Christian warfare, to offer you a few words of exhortation.  One thing, at least, we all feel:  we must pray.  We cannot give it up.  We must go on.”

Your Prayer Life Must Have Reverence and Humility

“I commend then to your attention, the importance of reverence and humility in prayer.  Let us never forget what we are, and what a solemn thing it is to speak with God.

Let us beware of rushing into his presence with carelessness and levity.  Let us say to ourselves:  ‘I am on holy ground.  This is no other than the gate of heaven.  If I do not mean what I say, I am trifling with God.'”

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A Prayer Life Is Spiritual Work

“‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’  Let us keep in mind the words of Solomon, ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and thou on earth’ (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

When Abraham spoke to God, he said, ‘I am dust and ashes.’  When Job spoke to God, he said, ‘I am vile.’  Let us do likewise.”

“Your mind will sometimes say, “You have important business to attend to today; cut short your prayers.” Look on all such suggestions as coming direct from Satan.”

J.C. Ryle

“I commend to you the importance of praying spiritually.  I mean by that, that we should labor always to have the direct help of the Spirit in our prayers, and beware above all things of formality.”

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Has Your Prayer Life Become Habit and Rote

“There is nothing so spiritual but that it may become a form, and this is specially true of private prayer.  We may insensibly get into the habit of using the fittest possible words, and offering the most scriptural petitions, and yet do it all by rote without feeling it, and walk daily round an old beaten path. 

I desire to touch this point with caution and delicacy.  I know that there are certain great things we daily want, and that there is nothing necessarily formal in asking for these things in the same words.”

Your Prayer Life Covers the Same Ground Daily

The world, the devil, and our hearts, are daily the same.  Of necessity we must daily go over old ground.”

Your Prayer Life Must Be Full Of His Spirit

“But this I say, we must be very careful on this point.  If the skeleton and outline of our prayers be by habit almost a form, let us strive that the clothing and filling up of our prayers be as far as possible of the Spirit.”

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“As to praying out of a book in our private devotions, it is a habit I cannot praise.  If we can tell our doctors the state of our bodies without a book, we ought to be able to tell the stage of our souls to God. “

Does Your Prayer Life Still Need Crutches

“I have no objection to a man using crutches when he is first recovering from a broken limb.  It is better to use crutches, than not to walk at all.  But if I saw him all his life on crutches, I should not think it matter for congratulation.  I should like to see him strong enough to throw his crutches away.

I commend to you the importance of making prayer a regular business of life.  I might say something of the value of regular times in the day for prayer.”

Your Prayer Life Needs Order

“God is a God of order.  The hours for morning and evening sacrifice in the Jewish temple were not fixed as they were without a meaning.  Disorder is eminently one of the fruits of sin.  But I would not bring any under bondage.”

“I ask whether you pray because diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness.”

Wendy Gunn

A Prayer Life That Pleases God Is Like Breathing

“This only I say, that it is essential to your soul’s health to make praying a part of the business of every twenty-four hours in your life.  Just as you allot time to eating, sleeping, and business, so also allot time to prayer.”

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“Choose your own hours and seasons.  At the very least, speak with God in the morning, before you speak with the world:  and speak with God at night, after you have done with the world. 

But settle it in your minds, that prayer is one of the great things of every day.  Do not drive it into a corner. Do not give it the scraps and parings of your duty.  Whatever else you make a business of, make a business of prayer.”

Your Prayer Life Demands Perseverance

“I commend to you the importance of perseverance in prayer.  Once having begun the habit, never give it up. 

Your heart will sometimes say, ‘You have had family prayers:  what might harm if you leave private prayer undone?’  Your body will sometimes say, ‘You are unwell or sleepy, or weary; you need not pray.’

Your mind will sometimes say, ‘You have important business to attend to today; cut short your prayers.’  Look on all such suggestions as coming direct from Satan.”

Your Prayer Life Can Have No Excuses

“They are all as good as saying, ‘Neglect your soul.’  I do not maintain that prayers should always be of the same length; but I do say, let no excuse make you give up prayer. 

Paul said, ‘Continue in prayer,’ and, ‘Pray without ceasing.’”

A Prayer Life, Like a Flame, Never Goes Out

“He did not mean that men should be always on their knees, but he did mean that our prayers should be, like the continual burnt offering, steadily persevered in every day; that it should be like seed time and harvest, and summer and winter, unceasingly coming round of regular seasons; that it should be like the fire on the altar, not always consuming sacrifices, but never completely going out. 

Never forget that you may tie together morning and evening devotions, by an endless chain of short ejaculatory prayers throughout the day.  Even in company, or business, or in the very streets, you may be silently sending up little winged messengers to God, as Nehemiah did in the very presence of Artaxerxes.”

Your Prayer Life Is Never Time Wasted

“And never think that time is wasted which is given to God.  A nation does not become poorer because it loses one year of working days in seven, by keeping the Sabbath.  A Christian never finds he is a loser, in the long run, by persevering in prayer.”

Read all the posts in this Series, “Do You Pray” by J. C. Ryle:

This series would be great as a read aloud as a family, especially with older elementary or middle and older children.  This Prayer Series would be superb as the basis for a Couples’, Mens’ or Womens’ Bible Study, with discussion following each part–maybe looking up and reading the Bible verses that are cited–and ending in prayer. I can only imagine the power and connection that a group would experience going through this series together!

My prayer is that this Series will spur you on to a deeper prayer life! Apply what you read:  There’s Tremendous Power in Prayer!! Here are some excellent books related to this topic–life changing books!

Your Home For God, Anxious for Nothing button

Anxious For Nothing, by John MacArthur

Stress has become part of our daily lives. We worry about our jobs, our relationships, and our families. And while there’s no lack of remedies for anxiety, no solution seems to offer true peace of mind.

Your Home For God, Lies Women Believe

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Are you burned out, overwhelmed, angry, confused or fearful? These emotions are often the result of Satan’s lies. Nancy tackles many of the falsehoods that enslave Christian women. She does not promise your problems will go away, but confronts the lies with practical truths found in Scripture that will help you begin to “walk through the realities of life in freedom and true joy.”

Your Home For God, Keep a Quiet Heart

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

When life gets too busy, too impersonal, and too much to handle, it’s time to turn to God for some peace and quiet. Keep a Quiet Heart is a unique collection of some of Elisabeth’s best work from her newsletter. More than 100 short passages offer a bit of relief from everyday life as they point the reader toward the everlasting love and peace of God.​

Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!

Wendy Gunn at Your Home For God helps Christian women raise Godly kids, find & fulfill their purpose and achieve God's goals for their life.

I help Christian moms raise their kids according to Biblical principles, get organized to manage life, achieve their unique God-given goals and dreams, and fulfill God’s purpose for them to make a difference in the world through my workshops, courses, and coaching founded on Biblical principles. You are already successful in many areas. I can help you in those that you’re not. Dream big dreams, and see God transform and use your life in amazing ways! Let’s work together for your success!

In Your Home For God’s Store, discover resources to help you get organized, raise Godly kids, and have the support and encouragement to know who you are, know what God wants you to do to fulfill His purpose for your life, and achieve His unique goals for you!

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