Prayer is Helpful for Your Greatest Spiritual Growth
Prayer is helpful for your greatest spiritual growth. And absolutely necessary to spiritual life. Do you want to set a fire going in your heart for the Lord? Read on! Many years ago, during our morning devotional time as a family, my husband introduced us to J. C. Ryle’s writing. What a boost to my spiritual life that was!
He challenged us by reading from J. C. Ryle’s work, “Do You Pray?” Are you familiar with J. C. Ryle? If you haven’t read anything of his writing, you are missing out in your spiritual life!
Would you like to go deeper with God? I know you would. My most popular posts are the ones about growing closer to God and having a Quiet Time. Ryle’s writings will help you. Do you feel dry or listless–wanting MORE in your Christian life? Read Ryle.
Stoke the Fire of Your Spiritual Life
His writings, of course, aren’t inspired. They don’t replace the Bible. But, when I want to stir my soul and to fan the flame of my Christianity, J. C. Ryle’s writings are one of the most effective pokers I have to get my heart’s spiritual fire crackling and roaring again.
For the next 5 weeks, every Tuesday and Thursday, I will be posting an excerpt from this work by J. C. Ryle that my husband read to us so many years ago, and which challenged my heart deeply. I hope it will do the same for you.
And so, now, we begin.
Read All the Posts in This Series on Prioritizing Your Spiritual Life,
“Do You Pray,” by J. C. Ryle:
- Part 1: “Prayer is Helpful to Your Greatest Spiritual Growth”
- Part 2: “Do You Have a Powerful Prayer Life”
- Part 3: “Want to Know the Guaranteed Way to Reach God in True Prayer?”
- Part 4: “Do you Know the God Who Answers Prayer”
- Part 5: “Want to Know How To Explode Your Spiritual Life?”
- Part 6: “How to Immediately Turn If You Are a Backsliding Christian”
- Part 7: “How to Have Terrific Happiness and Contentment”
- Part 8A: “How to End Prayerlessness for Spiritual Survival”
- Part 8B: “The First Steps How To Be Saved By Jesus”
- Part 9: “How to Have a Prayer Life That You and God Both Love”
- Part 10: “How Much Do You Want From God?”
- Part 11: “How to Pray For Particular Things From God”
“Do You Pray?” by J. C. Ryle: Part 1
“I have a question to offer you. It is contained in three words, Do you pray? The question is one that none but you can answer. Whether you attend public worship or not, your minister knows. Whether you have family prayers in your house or not, your relations know. But whether you pray in private or not, is a matter between yourself and God.”
“I beseech you in all affection to attend to the subject I bring before you. Do not say that my question is too close, If your heart is right in the sight of God, there is nothing in it to make you afraid. Do not turn off my question by replying that you say your prayers. It is one thing to say your prayers and another to pray. Do not tell me that my question is unnecessary. Listen to me for a few minutes, and I will show you good reasons for asking it.
I ask whether you pray, because prayer is absolutely needful to a man’s salvation.”
“I would gladly offer a free and full pardon to the greatest sinner that ever lived. I would not hesitate to stand by his dying bed, and say, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ even now, and you shall be saved.“
Prayer is Absolutely Needful to Salvation
“I say, absolutely needful, and I say so advisedly. I am not speaking now of infants or idiots. I am not settling the state of the heathen. I know that where little is given, there little will be required. I speak especially of those who call themselves Christians, in a land like our own. And of such I say, no man or woman can expect to be saved who does not pray.”
“I hold salvation by grace as strongly as any one. I would gladly offer a free and full pardon to the greatest sinner that ever lived. I would not hesitate to stand by his dying bed, and say, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ even now, and you shall be saved.’ But that a man can have Salvation without asking for it, I cannot see in the Bible. That a man will receive pardon of his sins, who will not so much as lift up his heart inwardly, and say, ‘Lord Jesus, give it to me,’ this I cannot find. I can find that nobody will be saved by his prayers, but I cannot find that without prayer anybody will be Saved.”
The Question is Necessary–Do You Pray?
“It is not absolutely needful to salvation that a man should read the Bible. A man may have no learning, or be blind, and yet have Christ in his heart. It is not absolutely needful that a man should hear public preaching of the gospel. He may live where the gospel is not preached, or he may be bedridden, or deaf. But the same thing cannot be said about prayer. It is absolutely needful to salvation that a man should pray.”
“It is absolutely needful to salvation that a man should pray.”
“There is no royal road either to health or learning. Princes and kings, poor men and peasants, all alike must attend to the wants of their own bodies and their own minds. No man can eat, drink, or sleep by proxy. No man can get the alphabet learned for him by another. All these are things which everybody must do for himself, or they will not be done at all.”
Prayer is One Thing No One Can Do For You
“Just as it is with the mind and body, so it is with the soul. There are certain things absolutely needful to the soul’s health and well-being. Each must attend to these things for himself. Each must repent for himself. Each must apply to Christ for himself. And for himself each must speak to God and pray. You must do it for yourself, for by nobody else can it be done.”
“To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven. It is to be on the road to hell. Now can you wonder that I ask the question, Do you pray?”
J.C. Ryle – (1816-1900), first Anglican bishop of Liverpool
J.C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor, husband (he was 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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