Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Call To Prayer

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
James 5:16b-18

I was directed to this sermon on prayer by the following Tweet by John Piper exactly ten days ago:
I have just watched a sermon on prayer by Terry Virgo that will alter my year. I recommend it.
Hearing that from the man who has been my most influential living model in prayer made this sermon a must watch for me. After watching it, I highly recommend it as well.

But what was so cool was that in this message, the preacher repeatedly makes reference to a book by D.A. Carson entitled A Call To Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. In God's providence, that's the book that I had been soaking in for a couple of weeks leading up to watching this sermon. I just finished the book last night and think I can say without presumption that this book will alter my life. I don't say that about many books. I couldn't more highly recommend it.

If you want a book that will challenge, encourage, and grow you in your prayer life so that you are not just praying more but praying more like the way the men and women of Scripture prayed to the Sovereign God of heaven and earth, I can't think of a better book apart from the Bible. The best part is that reading this book is about as close as you can get to reading your Bible while not directly reading your Bible because almost every chapter is a direct exposition of a biblical text. And it will undoubtedly make you a better reader of your Bible if you learn from Don's example how to study the Scriptures. This is a book I hope to come back to again and again. May you be blessed and strengthened by it.

Thank You, Father, for faithful teachers of Your Word who linger over every word of the Scriptures and draw out the plethora of implications that it has for our lives. May we learn from them and may we imitate them in their love for You and Your Word and in their lives of prayer and godliness. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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