All who came to our gathering at the American Decency Association last Friday (2/3), to hear a message on genuine prayer and repentance, thank you. We’d also like to give a big thank you to everyone who prayed for this event whether you could come or not. Thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Beeke, for your servant heart and the wonderful message that was given to an expectant congregation. Most of all, we offer up to God our gratitude, thanks, and praise for bringing this altogether, and in His sovereignty, moving men and women to pray and to attend this important event.
It’s always a blessing to hear Dr. Beeke speak, interweaving Scriptural text with personal examples and timely quotes from the Puritans. Friday night was no exception as he gave six ways to get a hold of ourselves and five ways to get a hold of God. If you weren’t able to attend, you’ll want to either purchase a CD ($5) or DVD ($10) of Dr. Beeke’s message “Needed: Genuine Prayer and Repentance,”or watch if for free on our website at www.americandecency.org. (Although these aren’t available yet, order them now while you’re thinking about it).
As Dr. Beeke encouraged that we take hold of ourselves, he rightly pointed us to the deep importance and the divine awe surrounding prayer.
One quote given, emphasizing the sincerity of prayer, was by Thomas Brooks: “God looks not at the oratory of your prayers, how elegant they may be; nor at the geometry of your prayers, how long they may be; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers, how many they may be; not at logic of your prayers, how methodical they may be; but the sincerity of them he looks at.”
This mighty messenger of God also impressed upon us the importance of cultivating a continual spirit of prayer. He warned that when the impulse to pray presents itself, strike while the prayer iron is hot. He cited from his own life how he once delayed praying when the impulse was there because he was writing. After the writing was done, he went to pray but the hot, Holy Spirit-generated impulse to pray was gone. “Don’t delay the impulse for an instant!”
Also in taking hold of self, we were encouraged to be intercessors instead of being selfish pray-ers. Think of the many Biblical examples given to us of prayerful intercessors. Remember the many commands we have been given to pray and to intercede on behalf of others.
Closing out this section of the message, we were exhorted to keep a Biblical balance in our prayer life. Here, Dr. Beeke gave the well known example of “ACTS” praying.
A—Adoration: Praising God for who He is.
C—Confession: Clearing any sin from our conscience and life. Confessing that God is right.
T—Thanksgiving: Thanking God for what He has, is, and will be doing.
S—Supplication: Presenting our petitions and the needs of others before the Throne of Grace.
You will want to hear this message and to listen for the illustration in which Dr. Beeke quotes: “Everything above ground is the mercy of God.”
The last half of this humble—yet bold—plea for prayer was aimed at taking hold of God in prayer. Here, in part, this servant of God encouraged us to plead God’s promises and to pray believing that God will answer our requests.
Another exhortation was to read the Bible for prayer. The instruction here was to read a verse, meditate on that verse, and then to turn it into a prayer. Is there something to petition God for that will help us grow in grace? Is there something that will move us to pray in adoration of the greatness of God? Meditate and pray upon the verses of Scripture God has so graciously given to us.
If you are like me, you might be wondering at this point, “I thought this was about repentance too.” Near the end of his message, Dr. Beeke made a very interesting statement, intertwining genuine prayer and repentance. He basically said that genuine prayer includes elements of genuine repentance and genuine repentance requires genuine prayer. Martin Luther said, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent,' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
This brought the message to a close with Dr. Beeke summarizing Thomas Watson’s following points on what repentance is.
1.Getting a sight for sin
2.Having sorrow for sin
3.Confession of sin
4.Shame for sin
5.Hatred for sin
6. Turning from all sin fully to God.
That’s the quick bird’s view of this really important message. We hope you’ll take advantage of this resource to help your prayer life and give you a better view of what repentance is and why we need it. Again, you can order these on CD ($5), DVD ($10), or watch it online at www.americandecency.org at a later date.
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American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.