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How to Immediately Turn If You Are A Backsliding Christian

Backsliding Christian, Turn!

Backsliding Christian, I implore you to turn immediately back to God! There is hope! You are not too far gone! God is waiting with open arms to receive you back into loving fellowship with Him! Read this and do what it says.

Do You Pray 10 Part Series - Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life J. C. Ryle

This is week 3 of 5 weeks in which, every Tuesday and Thursday, I will be posting an excerpt from the work entitled, “Do You Pray?” by J. C. Ryle.  My husband read it to our family in our family devotions years ago, and each time I read it over, it challenges my heart deeply. This is no exception! I pray it is life-changing for you, as it is for me!

Each part of this Series on Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life (“Do You Pray?”) can be read and stand on its own alone. So, don’t worry if you’re com​​​​ing into this series in the middle!

Bookmark this or copy each part into a Google Doc or Word doc, (don’t forget to Share it) and, if you’re like me, and are a paper and pen person (and also love color:), print it out, so you can underline and highlight parts that the Lord causes to jump off the page!

I recommend and urge you to read this aloud with your family! Don’t let it stop you that your children are too small to really take it all in! They’ll absorb more than you think. But, let it spur you on to a deeper prayer life! Apply what you read! There’s tremendous Power in Prayer!!

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How to Immediately Turn if Backsliding Christian

Read and Share all the posts in this Series on Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life, “Do You Pray” by J. C. Ryle:

And Now, we continue with Part 6 of “Do You Pray?” by J. C. Ryle:

How to Immediately Turn If You Are a Backsliding Christian

Your Home For God, What-is-the-chief-cause-of-most-backsliding/

What is the Chief Cause of Most Backsliding?

“I ask whether you pray, because neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding.”

Backsliding Christian, Are You Gone After False Teachers

“There is such a thing as going back in religion after making a good profession.  Men may run well for a season, like the Galatians, and then turn aside after false teachers.  Men may profess loudly while their feelings are warm, as Peter did, and then in the hour of trial deny their Lord.”

Backsliding Christian, Have You Lost Your Love for the Lord

“Men may lose their first love as the Ephesians did.  Men may cool down in their zeal to do good, like Mark the companion of Paul.  Men may follow an apostle for a season, and like Demas go back to the world.  All these things men may do.”

Your Home For God, have-you-lost-your-love-for-the-Lord-2

Have You Lost Your Love For The Lord

“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.”Proverbs 14:14

Backsliding Christian, It Is a Miserable Thing

“It is a miserable thing to be a backslider.  Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose it is the worst.  A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins, all these are sad sights, but a backslider is a sadder sight still.

A wounded conscience–a mind sick of itself–a memory full of self-reproach–a heart pierced through with the Lord’s arrows–a spirit broken with a load of inward accusation–all this is a taste of hell.  It is a hell on earth.  Truly that saying of the wise man is solemn and weighty, ‘The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways’ (Proverbs 14:14).”

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Have You Lost Your Love For The Lord

Backsliding Christian, What Has Caused It

“Now what is the cause of most backslidings?  I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer.  Of course the secret history of falls will not be known till the last day.  I can only give my opinion as a minister of Christ and a student of the heart.  That opinion is, I repeat distinctly, that backsliding generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.”

“Bibles read without prayer; sermons heard without prayer; marriages contracted without prayer; journeys undertaken without prayer; residences chosen without prayer; friendships formed without prayer; the daily act of private prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart:  these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy, or reaches the point where God allows him to have a tremendous fall.”

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What is the Chief Cause of Most Backsliding?

Backsliding Christians In Scripture

“This is the process which forms the lingering Lots, the unstable Samsons, the wife-idolizing Solomons, the inconsistent Asas, the pliable Jehoshaphats, the over-careful Marthas, of whom so many are to be found in the church of Christ.  Often the simple history of such cases is this:  they became careless about private prayer.

“Let us beware of rebellion against the Lord.  Circumstances are of His choosing, because He wants to bless us, to lead us (even through the wilderness) out of Egypt, that is, out of ourselves.  Settle the complaint with God, and it will settle other things.  Be offended with God, and you will be offended with everyone who crosses your path.”

Elisabeth Elliot (“Lamp Unto My Feet”)

You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public.  They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world.  Like Peter, they first disregard the Lord’s warning to watch and pray, and then like Peter, their strength is gone, and in the hour of temptation they deny their Lord.”

“I ask whether you pray, because neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding.” J. C. Ryle

Backsliding Christian, You Need to Pray

“The world takes notice of their fall, and scoffs loudly.  But the world knows nothing of the real reason.  The heathen succeeded in making a well-known Christian offer incense to an idol, by threatening him with a punishment worse than death.  They then triumphed greatly at the sight of his cowardice and apostasy.  But the heathen did not know the fact of which history informs us, that on that very morning he had left his bed chamber hastily, and without finishing his usual prayers.”

You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public.  They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world.  Like Peter, they first disregard the Lord’s warning to watch and pray, and then like Peter, their strength is gone, and in the hour of temptation they deny their Lord.

J.C. Ryle

“If you are a Christian indeed, I trust you will never be a backslider.  But if you do not wish to be a backsliding Christian, remember the question I ask you:  ‘Do you pray?'”

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In the Hour of Trial Have You Denied Your Lord

7 Steps To Backsliding That You Need to Avoid

  • Bibles read without prayer.
  • Sermons heard without prayer.
  • Marriages contracted without prayer.
  • Journeys undertaken without prayer.
  • Residences chosen without prayer.
  • Friendships formed without prayer.
  • The daily act of private prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart.

What do you think of this Series on Prayer? Have you changed anything, or are you planning to, because of it? Let me know in the comments below!​​​​

Read and Share all the posts in this Series on Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life, “Do You Pray” by J. C. Ryle:

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J.C. Ryle –  (1816-1900), first Anglican bishop of Liverpool

J.C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor, husband (widowed three times) and the father to five children. He was thoroughly evangelical in his doctrine and uncompromising in his Biblical principles. After being in Pastoral ministry in England for 38 years, in 1880 (at age 64) Ryle became the first bishop of Liverpool, England and remained there for 20 years. He retired in 1900 (at age 83) and died later that same year at age 84.

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