Prayer

The Spirit Intercedes

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The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for, as a sanctifying Spirit works and excites praying graces, as a comforting Spirit silences our fears, and helps us over all our discouragements. The Holy Spirit is the spring of all our desires and breathings towards God.
— Matthew Henry

Hearing God's Story

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Those of you searching for something larger, faster, and more significant, who feel that if you could just be somewhere else doing something else as somebody else, then your life would really matter—Jesus has come to confound you.
— Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus
In Christ, you are accepted. But that acceptance no longer has to be earned or maintained; it is granted by grace and guaranteed in Christ. This doesn’t mean you stop working, but it does mean you now work in a totally new way. You no longer work for approval; you work from approval.
— Rankin Wilbourne, Union with Christ

We Have Access

But here’s the thing: pretty good people do not need Jesus. He came for the lost. He came for the broken. In his love for us he came to usher us into his foundness and wholeness.
— Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
From beginning to end, the Holy Scriptures testify that the predicament of fallen humanity is so serious, so grave, so irremediable from within, that nothing short of divine intervention can rectify it.
— Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ

Praying for a Pardon

Confession affects the heart with sin, and engages the heart against it. Every confession of the evil we do—is a new obligation not to do it any more. Confession of sin shows us more clearly our need of mercy—and endears God’s mercy more to us. How good and sweet is mercy—to a soul that has tasted how evil and bitter a thing it is to sin against the Lord.
— Joseph Caryl, 1645, “Confession of Sin”

The Authenticity of Prayer

Prayer is a natural and authentic substratum of language. But there is irony here: prayer, language at its most honest, is also the easiest form of language to fake. We discover early on that we can pretend to pray, use words of prayer, practice the forms of prayer, assume postures of prayer, acquire a reputation for prayer, and never pray. Our ‘prayers,’ so called, become a camouflage to cover up a life of nonprayer.
— Eugene Peterson
These practices of prayer do not just shape our prayer lives or worship styles, they shape us.
— Tish Harrison Warren