Because of the Length of this post,
I have separated it into two parts.
Are you saying, “This is mumbo-jumbo! I don’t understand a thing he’s saying! I say prayers in church and I’m trying to be a good person. I’m as good a Christian as the next guy (or gal)! In fact, I’m better than most people I know. And I don’t want to get too fanatical, anyway. Some of those people are really something! So, just don’t overdo it, ok?”
Are you, maybe, a reader who doesn’t pray at all? Do you know for sure that you are going to heaven? Maybe this all seems like gobbledy-gook to you. Then, for sure this one’s for you! Don’t let anything stop you from reading all the way to the end. There’s too much at stake.
Today might be your last chance. I’m praying for you.
This is week 4 of 5 weeks in which, every Monday and Wednesday, I will be posting an excerpt from the work entitled, “Do You Pray?” by J. C. Ryle. My husband recently finished reading it to us a little bit every morning in our family devotions. It has challenged my heart deeply. I hope it will do the same for you.
Each part can be read and stand on its own alone.
Don’t worry if you’re coming into this series in the middle!
I recommend you copy each part into a Word file, so you can read a little or a lot at a time, and underline parts that the Lord causes to jump off the page.
Maybe you’d like to read this aloud with your family during your family devotions or in the evenings.
Let it spur you on to a deeper prayer life!
There’s Tremendous Power in Prayer!!
And Now, we continue with
Warning: Don’t Wait
It May Be Too Late!!
And now it is high time for me to bring this tract to an end. I trust I have brought before you things that will be seriously considered. I heartily pray God that this consideration may be blessed to your soul.
Let me speak a parting word to those who do not pray. I dare not suppose that all who read these pages are praying people. If you are a prayerless person, suffer me to speak to you this day on God’s behalf.
Prayerless reader, I can only warn you, but I do warn you most solemnly. I warn you that you are in a position of fearful danger. If you die in your present state, you are a lost soul. You will only rise again to be eternally miserable. I warn you that of all professing Christians you are most utterly without excuse. There is not a single good reason that you can show for living without prayer.
It is useless to say you know not how to pray. Prayer is the simplest act in all religion. It is simply speaking to God. It needs neither learning nor wisdom nor book knowledge to begin it. It needs nothing but heart and will. The weakest infant can cry when he is hungry. The poorest beggar can hold out his hand for alms, and does not wait to find fine words. The most ignorant man will find something to say to God, if he has only a mind.
It is useless to say you have no convenient place to pray in. Any man can find a place private enough, if he is disposed. Our Lord prayed on a mountain; Peter on the housetop; Isaac in the field; Nathanael under the fig tree; Jonah in the whale’s belly. Any place may become a closet, an oratory, and a Bethel, and be to us the presence of God.
It is useless to say you have no time. There is plenty of time, if men will employ it. Time may be short, but time is always long enough for prayer. Daniel had the affairs of a kingdom on his hands, and yet he prayed three times a day. David was ruler over a mighty nation, and yet he says, “Evening and morning and at noon will I pray” (Psalm 55:17). When time is really wanted, time can always be found.
It is useless to say you cannot pray till you have faith and a new heart, and that you must sit still and wait for them. This is to add sin to sin. It is bad enough to be unconverted and going to hell. It is even worse to say, “I know it, but will not cry for mercy.” This is a kind of argument for which there is no warrant in Scripture. “Call ye upon the Lord,” saith Isaiah, “while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). “Take with you words, and turn unto the Lord,” says Hosea (Hosea 14:1). “Repent and pray,” says Peter to Simon Magus (Acts 8:22). If you want faith and a new heart, go and cry to the Lord for them. The very attempt to pray has often been the quickening of a dead soul.
Oh, prayerless reader, who and what are you that you will not ask anything of God? Have you made a covenant with death and hell? Are you at peace with the worm and the fire? Have you no sins to be pardoned? Have you no fear of eternal torment? Have you no desire after heaven? Oh that you would awake from your present folly. Oh that you would consider your latter end. Oh that you would arise and call upon God. Alas, there is a day coming when many shall pray loudly, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” but all too late; when many shall cry to the rocks to fall on them and the hills to cover them, who would never cry to God. In all affection, I warn you, beware lest this be the end of your soul. Salvation is very near you. Do not lose heaven for want of asking.