Freebie Friday…J.C. Ryle on Prayer

“I ask whether you pray, because prayer is an act in religion to which there is great encouragement. There is everything on God’s part to make prayer easy, if men will only attempt it. All things are ready on his side. Every objection is anticipated. Every difficulty is provided for. The crooked places are made straight and the rough places are made smooth. There is no excuse left for the prayerless man. There is a way by which any man however sinful and unworthy may draw near to God the Father. Jesus Christ has opened that way by the sacrifice he made for us on the cross…There is an Advocate and Intercessor always waiting to present the prayers of those who come to God through him. That advocate is Jesus Christ. He mingles our prayers with the incense of His own almighty intercession. So mingled, they go up as a sweet savor before the throne of God…There is the Holy Spirit ever ready to help our infirmities in prayer. It is one of his special office to assist us in our endeavor to speak with God. We need not be cast down and distressed by the fear of not knowing what to say. The Spirit will give us words if we seek his aid…There are exceeding great and precious promises to those who pray…There are wonderful examples in Scripture of the power of prayer. Nothing seems to be too great, too hard, or too difficult for prayer to do. It has obtained things that seemed impossible and out of reach. It has won victories over fire, air, earth and water. Prayer opened the Red Sea. Prayer brought water from the rock and bread from heaven. Prayer made the Sun stand still…Well might Mary Queen of Scots say, ‘I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men…’ What more can a man want to lead him to take any step in religion, than the things I have just told him about prayer. What more could be done to make the path to the mercy seat easy, and to remove all occasions of stumbling from the sinner’s way?”

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