Monday, February 20, 2023

Ryle: useless prayer

Monday, February 20, 2023
    Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906
    In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
    “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
    The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
    —Acts 9:10-12 (NIV)
    Words said without heart are as utterly useless to our souls as the drum beating of savages before their idols! Where there is no heart, there may be lip-work and tongue-work, but there is no prayer. Saul, I have no doubt, said many a long prayer before the Lord met him on the way to Damascus. But it was not until his heart was broken that the Lord said, “He prayeth.”
    ... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), A Call to Prayer, published in the 1850’s as a pamphlet, American Tract Society, 1867, sec. III (see the book)
    See also Acts 9:10-12; Eccl. 5:2; Isa. 29:13; Jer. 12:2; Eze. 33:31; Matt. 6:7; Mark 12:38-40; Acts 8:1-3,20-21; 9:1-16; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8; Jude 1:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Spirit of God, awaken me when I am just going through the motions.
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