Our Extended Ryle: A Call to Prayer All the Means Necessary
Welcome to the Free Range Preacher on Prayer podcast. I am Fred, the podcast principal. We thank Jesus for His mercies. That's all we can truly say. He saved us and gave us our new inner man, as our Savior, who took on the earthly form before he paid the price for our salvation in his blood, he taught us. And we have that in the Bible, the New Testament as well. And we think of the Holy Ghost who comes to indwell us and to assure us that we are back to our extended rial. In his treatise, as we have been looking at a call to prayer, we remember that prayer is a command. And we have all the incumbent encouragement to our prayer lives as well.
The last time he began this section, with an argument illustrating the differences between Christians in our Christian lives and the quality of our Christian lives, I was trying to summarize that succinctly. I don't know if I did. But today, he continues, Pastor Ryle does in his assertion that focuses on prayer. But as you will also hear, he makes a great point about all our efforts as individuals in obedience, and he'll talk about the means of grace, the means of those ends, which we all have today. He warns against thinking that eminent holiness or a profound experience in the abundant life, eternal life, as we know from John 17:3, that is available to us now is only available at a high level to a special few that have been set aside and particularly blessed.
So we will pick up, with JC Ryle, on his first question, what accounts for the differences? And then, we will go on to see his assertion on prayer. He begins:
"Now how can we account for the difference which I have just described? What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier than others? I believe the difference, in nineteen cases out of twenty, arises from different habits about private prayer. I believe that those who are not eminently holy pray little, and those who are eminently holy pray much.
(Ryle's use of eminent here means, being known for or to have a reputation of holiness.)
Back to Ryle:
I dare say this opinion will startle some readers. I have little doubt that many look on eminent holiness as a kind of special gift, which none but a few must pretend to aim at. They admire it at a distance in books. They think it beautiful when they see an example near themselves. But as to its being a thing within the reach of any but a very few, such a notion never seems to enter their minds. In short, they consider it a kind of monopoly granted to a few favored believers, but certainly not to all."
"Now I believe that this is a most dangerous mistake. I believe that spiritual as well as natural greatness depends in a high degree on the faithful use of means within everybody's reach. Of course I do not say we have a right to expect a miraculous grant of intellectual gifts; but this I do say, that when a man is once converted to God, his progress in holiness will be much in accordance with his own diligence in the use of God's appointed means. And I assert confidently that the principal means by which most believers have become great in the church of Christ is the habit of diligent private prayer."
Thank You, Jesus, for the genius of J.C. Ryle.
I would, of course, wholeheartedly agree with the truth that those who become significant in the church of Christ, however you personally might define effective, genuinely have a habit of diligent, private prayer.
Even though I don't experience greatness, my desire stems from David to God, thy gentleness, God's gentleness makes me great (Psalm 18:35).
This desire to continually and increasingly know my Savior, Jesus Christ, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit is my goal, my passion. (Even given my halting efforts.)
You and I had discussed before that the chief reason God created everything is his own glory and our chief reason (Chief meaning the foremost or ultimate). Our chief reason for prayer is and will become His glory increasingly also. This increasing knowledge of Him in our prayers adds to our longing hearts, however, they are sustained, a bursting of joy and peace, even as we sojourn on earth sorrow.
Ryle's efforts in his communication in the little book call us through education, encouragement, even admonishing us to be diligent and private prayer, ie a growing biblical, dynamic, sincere soul satisfying God glorifying communion with a Father, Son and Holy Ghost..
Our meditation for today:
"…but this I do say, that when a man is once converted to God, his progress in holiness will be much in accordance with his own diligence in the use of God's appointed means. And I assert confidently that the principal means by which most believers have become great in the church of Christ is the habit of diligent private prayer."
Our early principle is that we learn to pray by beginning to pray, and God will grow us in our relationship with Him.
As we mature, we also increase our desire to walk the worthy walk 1 Thessalonians 2:12 and be pleasing to the Savior we love. (2 Corinthians 5:9) Whatever ambition you might have in the life God has called you to, diligent private prayer is one of those means God has provided for our success.
Father, we need Thee. I need Thee. We bow before you in humility and rejoicing. Humility, repenting of my sins in the flesh, and the struggles I have with those besetting sins, and rejoicing in thy salvation, and in those small victories that thou give us. Thank You that we have the promise from James that as we draw near to you, you will draw near to us, flooding glory to our souls. We pray together now that you will use this small meal for the purposes draws close in prayer and fellowship, even as we draw close to Thee by faith, believing that thou art and that thou art a rewarder of all who seek the father, thy will be done, son move on us to abide in the Holy Ghost, empower, teach and comfort us from our inner man out that in all things, we have the assurance which will sustain us, and that thou hast have the preeminence. And all things by will be done.
My beloved brother, in grace, be with you. And let us pray for one another