We all have questions about prayer. Why pray if God already knows what's going to happen? Can prayer change the mind of God? Does it actually affect anything? What is the purpose of prayer?
There is only one wise source to answer our questions: We need to hear from God himself. Only through him and his word can we have a grounded, balanced, and broad understanding of prayer. This booklet presents an overview of what Scripture says, defining prayer, exploring its roles, and teaching us how to practice us.
Stanley D. Gale serves as senior minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He has authored a number of works on spiritual warfare, including Warfare Witness: Contending with Spiritual Opposition in Everyday Evangelism.
Basics of the Faith booklets introduce readers to basic Reformed doctrine and practice. On issues of church government and practice they reflect that framework - otherwise they are suitable for all church situations.
What can ordinary believers do as we face life in a Western society that seems to be in moral and political freefall? Nothing is more urgent than for Christians to begin praying frequently and earnestly. E. M. Bounds once said that Satan mocks at our plans and organizations, but trembles when we pray. One of the main ways the evil one hinders believers from the prayers that will change their own situation and move the world Godwards is by misrepresenting in their minds what prayer really is. He may convince them that it works only for those who are far more saintly than they, or that serious prayer questions the sovereign plan of God, and is therefore not really necessary. In my view as an older minister and teacher, these two errors alone keep many a prayer meeting largely empty, and many an otherwise Christian home relatively prayerless. That may explain why evil ideas and practices have been able to fill a spiritual vacuum that once knew the presence of God and his Gospel. Yes, loath though we may be to admit it, lack of believing prayer has brought us to where we are now in an increasingly aggressive and godless culture. Of course other factors are involved, but lack of prayer lies at the root of our spiritual weakness and cultural rot. "Why Do We Pray? by James D. Gale is a clear trumpet call to prayer in the triumphant name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a very brief book, but full of light, warmth and power. It dispels wrong ideas about prayer. What he says about prayer in the name of Jesus should bring liberation of spirit to many who feel too unworthy to pray. His straightforward and Biblically balanced teaching on how intercessory prayer fits in perfectly with the predestinated purposes of God is a joy to read. I believe it will urge many to their knees as it removes some of the misconceptions that keep people from doing what their heavenly Father told them to do: Seek ye my face. If I am right about that, this one little book could be used far and wide to do wonders that our gracious God has planned from eternity, once Christians start doing what it clearly shows them they are enabled to do, and divinely called to do: Ask, seek, and knock."
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